Public Safety

11 kayakers rescued from Upper Iowa River

Two hundred- and 300-foot-tall bluffs, along with Chimney Rock in the distance, tower over the Upper Iowa River in May near Decorah. (Gazette file photo)
Two hundred- and 300-foot-tall bluffs, along with Chimney Rock in the distance, tower over the Upper Iowa River in May near Decorah. (Gazette file photo)

DECORAH — Authorities used a drone to locate and rescue 11 stranded kayakers who became stranded Tuesday afternoon on the Upper Iowa River.

One of the kayakers overturned and lost the boat, and was hanging from tree branches.

Others were marooned on an island near Chimney Rock Park.

Decorah fire and rescue crews brought the boaters to safety after locating them with a drone, according to the Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office.

The rescued kayakers were family members ranging in age from 6 to 71, authorities said.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Iowa Department of Transportation officers assisted at the scene.

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