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La Crosse Police officer, Fire Dept. help save struggling swimmer

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - A swimmer is safely rescued after getting stuck out in the main channel of the Mississippi River Wednesday evening.

Police and fire crews were called to the area around the Cass St. Bridge south of Pettibone Beach just after 7 p.m. for a report of a person struggling in the water.

When La Crosse Police Officer Colin Sherden arrived, he saw the person in the water trying to hold onto a bridge pylon. Grabbing a flotation device, he was able to get it to the swimmer, who then put the device on. The person was able to hold on to the pylon until a rescue boat from the La Crosse Fire Department could get the person out of the water and safely back to shore.

The swimmer told officers he was swimming at Pettibone Beach and swam out into the main channel. A passing barge created a disturbance in the water that pulled the swimmer under and led to his calls for help.

Police remind swimmers to stay within the general beach areas and not to swim into areas where boat traffic is present or places beyond their abilities.

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