Man, 2 dogs survive trip over dam on Mississippi - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Man, 2 dogs survive trip over dam on Mississippi


ALMA, Wis. (KTTC/AP) -- A Minnesota man and his two dogs survived a harrowing trip over a dam on the swollen Mississippi River.

The Buffalo County Sheriff's Department says 49-year-old John Amundson, of Winona, took his dogs boating above the lock and dam at Alma when his motor quit Saturday afternoon.

Gary Anderson's home in Alma overlooks the Mississippi and saw the events unfold before him. "I was standing out here in the yard and I looked over the river and there is a sand bar over by that island," he said.  "And I saw this guy rowing his boat and he was rowing west."

Amundson's boating trip took a turn for the worse.

"It was five or six minutes later I looked up and he was down a lot closer to the dam by that buoy," said Anderson.  "And that's when I called the corps and told them that they apparently had had somebody that was in trouble and that they probably needed to get somebody out there."

Unable to battle the current, Amundson put on his life preserver, and grabbed hold of a floating seat cushion as the boat approached the dam.

"Then all of a sudden I saw the bow of his boat go up in the air," said Anderson. "And then it went down and I never saw it after that,"

The boat, Amundson and his dogs were sucked into the damn.  In the following minutes a small rescue crew arrived. Amundson was able to push wood debris towards his dogs.

All three made it out alive and uninjured.

Deputies say boaters should be careful with the fast current and high waters on the Mississippi.

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