Jesse Thomas, Rice County Sheriff, said following rescues of capsized canoeists and kayakers Saturday the Cannon River is dangerous due to unseen debris.

Much of it is large branches and trees knocked down by tornadoes in 2018.  Sheriff Thomas encourages people to use caution if traveling on the Cannon.  He was also happy to see all those people rescued were wearing life jackets.

The call came in to dispatch at 11:29 a.m. on Saturday, May 26, 2024 there was a canoe tipped over on the Cannon River near the 18000 block of Cabot Avenue.

Upon arrival, deputies learned a group of three adults and six juveniles departed on the Cannon River from Two Rivers Park in Faribault and were using several kayaks and canoes to go to Northfield.  Two of the canoes became entangled among two downed trees causing them to capsize.

Each canoe had one adult and one juvenile.  At one point one of the juveniles attempted to assist in helping the tipped canoeists and his kayak overturned sending him into the river.  They were all able to hang on to downed trees in the river until they could be rescued by first responders.

No injuries were reported among the nine individuals rescued.  None of the individuals were identified by authorities.

The Rice County Sheriff's Office utilized several specialty units during the rescue including Rice County Dive and Drone teams.

Sheriff Thomas does recommend people, "use extreme caution on the river," and to consider their safety and that of the first responders who must work to rescue capsized or stranded individuals.

The Sheriff thanked other agencies assisting with the incident including the Faribault Police Department, Faribault Fire Department, Northfield Fire Department, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota State Patrol, North EMS and Rice-Steele Dispatch Center.

The Rice County Sheriff's Office posted the following photo and information to their Facebook page regarding debris in the river:

"Below are two photos of the same section of the Cannon (at the CR 29 bridge just off Hwy. 3) showing the number of felled trees and debris hidden under the water. The image on the left was taken March 21; the image on the right was taken May 23."

Cannon River (Rice County Sheriff)
Cannon River (Rice County Sheriff)

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Gallery Credit: Katherine Gallagher

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