STODDARD, Wis. (WXOW) – Stoddard Fire Department is still investigating a capsized boating incident at Goose Island on Saturday night, which left four passengers stuck in the water for “hours”.
The four boaters were stuck in the Mississippi River after their flat-bottom boat capsized south of Goose Island Campground towards Stoddard.
Stoddard Fire Chief Joe Pfaff said they found two of the passengers in the boat trying to bail water out, while the other two passengers were roughly 100 yards away in the water.
Pfaff couldn't confirm what caused the boat to capsize, but one of the passengers in the boat said the driver was driving erratically, which caused the boat to tip over.
All four passengers are safe and uninjured. Shelby Assistant Fire Chief Tony Holinka said a “multitude of factors” could've caused the incident. “Lot of the factors, obviously the high water had a factor to it. The wind definitely in that area, you get a south wind in that part of the water. The waves get really really choppy too,” Holinka said.
Dustin Brockman, one of the four passengers on the boat, described the event as something that “couldn't have been prevented”. “I've been on the river everyday for a few weeks now and when the water is high...you know what, the only thing I think could've been prevented maybe...you know what, I'm not sure. I'm not sure if it could have been prevented. I think we, all of us out here are on the river a lot and we are just doing what we usually do,” Brockman said.
Tri-State Ambulance, Vernon County Sheriff's Department, Stoddard Fire Department, La Crosse County Sheriff's Department, the D.N.R., La Crosse Dive Unit, and Shelby Fire Department assisted with last night's rescue.
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