Emergency Crews, Civilians Team Up For Harrowing St. Croix River Rescue

TAYLORS FALLS, Minn. (WCCO) — Saturday a harrowing rescue in Taylors Falls rattled even the professionals.

Chisago County deputies and Taylors Falls firefighters worked together with civilians to help save Nicholas Edwards. The 21-year-old man was walking a trail on the Wisconsin side of the St. Croix River near Taylors Falls when he slid down the rock-front, landing on rock near the river.

nicholas edwards Emergency Crews, Civilians Team Up For Harrowing St. Croix River Rescue

(credit: Edwards family)

The area is only accessible by boat.

Some quick thinking responders and some wise rock climbers saved Nicholas’ life.

It’s no surprise someone may want to spend their holiday weekend enjoying these views.

But Saturday afternoon, Nicholas Edwards got a perspective he never wanted. While walking this trail, he fell four stories landing on rock by the river.

Deputy Derek Anklan works water rescues for Chisago County.

“I step back and I look at it and I can’t figure out how you would survive that fall,” he said.

This was a dire situation and a complicated one.

“This is about as difficult as it gets unless we’re in the rapids, that’s about the only more difficult scenario you could be in,” Anklan said.

Anklan said when he got to the scene some men had used fish cutting boards to stabilize Edward’s back.

“Some really articulate medical terms they are using and I come to find out later the three of them are doctors at the University of Minnesota medical center, so that was a real blessing to have them there before us,” he said.

Also helping, the tourboat driver who shuttled supplies back and forth so they could further stabilize Nicholas’s spine and breathing.

They were able to get him in an ambulance, then a helicopter to HCMC where he is now stable.

nicholas edwards1 Emergency Crews, Civilians Team Up For Harrowing St. Croix River Rescue

(credit: Edwards family)

“You remember those images for a while,” Anklan said.

Nicholas tried to grab on to some trees on his way down, deputies really believed that helped slow down his fall.

Speechless and in awe while standing outside HCMC, Robert Edwards said nearly losing his son Nicholas was an incredibly scary moment.

“There are no words to explain this right now. It just goes to show that God does work in mysterious ways and that’s all I can say,” he said.

Robert said was taking a nap during the time his son was visiting Taylors Falls. He woke up to several text messages and voicemails explaining how his son was being airlifted to the hospital. He would later learn of the significant undertaking several people went through to save his son’s life.

“I mean it was a miracle that this happened, when it happened and how it happened that he survived through it,” he said.

“It means a lot and my son’s most likely alive because of you,” he said of everyone who helped Nicholas.

More from Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield
Comments

One Comment

  1. I always fall four stories when walking trails. Let’s make it sound like he wasn’t being one of those “hold my beer and watch this” guys. Obviously he was not walking the trail. He was a thrill seeker with no common sense.

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