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Canoe capsizes on Crow Wing River

The Wadena County Sheriff's Office received a report of a capsized canoe on the Crow Wing River around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 25.

The reporting party stated that all the parties were now out of the river but on the other side. The incident was at Bullard Bluff Campground in Bullard Township. A Wadena County Deputy along with Staples Fire Department and Staples Ambulance responded to the scene. Prior to arrival on scene the deputy picked up the first victim, Vickie Tester, 52, of Brainerd, about 1.5 miles from the scene were she had gone to make the call for help after getting out of the river.

The Wadena County Deputy and Staples Fire Department deployed their newly obtained Nebulus Emergency Flotation Devices and were able to retrieve the second victim, Patrick Tester, 45, of Brainerd, from a swampy area on the river where he was standing on a hummock surrounded by water. The third victim, Alvin Tester, 53, of Staples, was on the opposite side of the river. The Staples Fire Department used a row boat to access this victim.

All parties were treated at the scene by Staples Ambulance. It was learned that the parties' canoe had gotten sideways in the strong current and tangled up in some tree branches. The canoe capsized and the parties went into the river. From the time of the capsizing to when the victims were rescued was a total of about 2 ½ hours. The water temperature at the time of the rescue was about 50 degrees.