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Dysart Man Dies After Falling Into Mississippi River

CLAYTON – A Dysart man has died after being pulled from the Mississippi River just south of Clayton.

Charles Petersen, 60, was a passenger on a boat being operated by his wife, Deborah Petersen, 54, when he fell into the river from the rear of the boat at approximately 7:30 p.m. Monday. Charles Petersen was not wearing a life jacket when he fell in and two other passengers in the boat threw him a life jacket before entering the water themselves to try and assist him.  They were able to get him back to the boat, but were unable to get back on board the vessel.

A rescue boat from the Garnavillo Fire Department responded to the scene and emergency personnel were able to get Charles Petersen loaded on their boat and back to shore where he was assisted by Garnavillo paramedics. He was transported by ambulance  to Guttenberg Municipal Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Alcohol was not a contributing factor and the boat was being operated at a slow speed at the time Petersen fell into the river.

In addition to Garnavillo, rescue boats from the fire departments at Guttenberg and Glen Haven, Wis. were also launched. Emergency medical services personnel from Garnavillo and Guttenberg assisted at the scene as did the police departments from Garnavillo and Guttenberg and the Clayton County Sheriff’s Department.

The incident remains under investigation by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

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