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Shakopee Firefighters Rescue Jet Skier from Minnesota River

Garman Gonzalez of St. Paul was out for a ride on the Minnesota River when his jet ski stopped working Tuesday afternoon.

Garman Gonzalez of St. Paul was out for a ride on the Minnesota River when his jet ski stopped working Tuesday afternoon near in Shakopee.

"I was having all the fun until that happened," he said.

When he called his girlfriend, Carol Gagner, from the water, two words – "I'm stuck," told her what she needed to know.

Initially she didn't call authorities because Gonzalez said he wasn't in danger and he had just asked her to drive the van and trailer to Shakopee. But after she didn't hear from him for an hour, she said she got worried. And with the river largely inaccessible, she said she felt she should call.

Shakopee firefighters got the call at 5:35 p.m. and launched a boat known as an ice angel. By 6:20 p.m., firefighters had secured the jet ski onto the boat and took it to the Shakopee boat access near the Highway 101 bridge. Gonzalez, who was wearing a life jacket, arrived by vehicle with an officer.

"I'm just glad he's safe," Gagner said.

"Sorry for the trouble," Gonzalez told officers.

It was not clear whether Gonzalez would have to foot the bill for the rescue. Firefighters said that would be up to the Coast Guard to determine since they have jurisdiction over that part of the river.

Ryan Yttreness, training chief, encouraged those using the river to make sure the watercraft has been properly serviced, wear life jackets, carry a cell phone with a fully charged battery, and be ready for ever-changing conditions.

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