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Man rescued from Willow River State Park falls

Hudson Fire Department crews work Monday, June 13, during the rescue of a man trapped atop a waterfall at Willow River State Park. (Submitted photo)

Hudson fire crews rescued a victim Monday after he got caught in the waterfall system in Willow River State Park.

The victim, described by Hudson Fire Department Capt. Mike Spencer as a young man, went over the lower falls at the park after playing in upstream Willow River waters. He caught himself on a ledge above the higher falls, where he was trapped.

An arborist and a park ranger helped keep the man on the ledge by throwing him a rope, Spencer said.

The higher falls drop about 20 to 25 feet.

Hudson fire crews used a rope system to get themselves onto the ledge before lowering the man down.

Spencer said the man was evaluated by EMTs and was found to be uninjured.

“His major problem was that he was cold,” Spencer said, noting that firefighters gave him blankets to warm up.

He said the entire episode lasted about an hour and involved 15 Hudson firefighters and several EMT workers.

It’s not unusual for rescues to be conducted near the falls at Willow River State Park, Spencer said, noting that crews were there last year for an incident.

“The moving water, the slippery rocks -- it’s more hazardous than people think looking out over there,” Spencer said.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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