Sept. 2, 2018 – West Bend, WI – Rescue crews in West Bend were called to the Milwaukee River behind Woolen Mills as passersby saw five kayakers in the water trying to pull a woman to safety.
Heath Heise said it was kinda exciting for a minute but everybody is ok.
“We started in Barton around 11 a.m. and we knew the water was fast but that wasn’t a problem and we went through the dam,” he said.
“Wasn’t really a big deal. One of the girls got off to the side and grabbed a branch and she went in and the guys tried to save her and then it was just like a domino effect and everybody was in the water.”
Heise said the fast water and trees tangled them up.
“The passersby on the bridge thought we were in trouble and called police,” he said. “Everybody is ok … but it was quite the experience.”
The area where the kayakers went in was the eastern end of Riverside Park about a half mile west of River Road.
Heise said they’re all experienced kayakers and everyone was wearing a life jacket.
The gravel path through the east end of Riverside Park is flooded in some areas as the water is extremely high due to recent rains.
UPDATE: West Bend Police posted this update:
On 09-02-18 at 12:02PM, eight adults went kayaking in the section of the Milwaukee River running through Riverside Park. A West Bend Officer in the area was flagged down by one of the adults and learned at least two of the kayakers overturned and were missing their kayaks. Responding Officers learned all eight adults had overturned in the river. The eight adults were located in the area of Riverside Park, were not injured, and their kayaks were recovered.
Due to faster river currents and higher water levels than normal, stay off the river.