Man Rescued from Icy Des Moines River

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Rescue crews pulled a man from the frigid water of the Des Moines River Monday afternoon.

Officials say it happened in on the east side of the river near 6th Avenue across from North High School around 1:30 p.m.  A crew from Des Moines Parks and Rec was driving along the bike trail when they told officials they saw the man jump into the water.  They called 911 and while they waited encouraged the man to come to shore.

When water rescue crews arrived they also encouraged the man to come to shore and threw him a rope but they say he swam away from it and grabbed onto a piece of ice to hold onto.

When the man wouldn't come to shore on his own, water rescue crews were forced to get into the water to help the man.

"We put people in our mustang water suits they made entry they were on tag lines, they pushed the boat in there in case we were going to have to assist him there was still a little resistance despite the time in the water by the gentleman," says Brian O'Keefe with Des Moines Fire and Rescue.

Crews used a new lightweight boat to reach the man. It is light enough to be used on thin ice and on the water.

While attempting to rescue the man,  one emergency worker did fall through the ice but was able to quickly pull himself out and continue with the rescue operation.

Rescuers were able to get the man out of the river after about 15 minutes.  He has been taken to a local hospital and his condition is unknown.

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