By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Members of the University of Minnesota women’s rowing team rescued a woman from the Mississippi River Wednesday morning.

Head Coach Wendy Davis was in a motorized boat following two boats of elite college rowers when she saw a women in the river near the Lake Street Bridge at about 7 a.m.

“She was in the trees in the water, about waist high,” Davis said. “Went over and asked if she needed help and she said she did.”

Davis immediately moved her boat to help.

“The current was really strong so it was tough,” she said.

Davis needed the help of an assistant coach and three student athletes.

“We threw her a life jacket and then swung around to the downstream side of the trees, but we had to work our way in there,” she said.

Conditions on the Mississippi River have been so dangerous that U of M coaches have had to abandon the U’s boathouse. Instead, for safety reasons, they’ve been using the Minneapolis Rowing Club’s boathouse, which is three miles downriver.

That’s the only reason they encountered the woman and rescued her.

“Normally I wouldn’t be anywhere close to that shoreline,” Davis said.

The coach’s boats brought the woman to the rowing club where she was met by an ambulance. She was talking but was very cold.

Coach Davis says it common to see people wading or even swimming in the Mississippi, but she says it’s not a good idea this year.

“The flow is tremendously high and tremendously fast,” Davis said. “You know, it’s dangerous.”

The woman was taken to a local hospital with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries.

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