First responders were called just before 4:30 p.m. after a teenage girl and her father "disappeared in the waves" of Lake Superior and family members did not see them surface for several minutes, according to a news release from the Duluth Fire Department.
The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office says a 38-year-old man from Osceola, Wisconsin and his 10-year-old daughter from Hudson, Wisconsin were swimming and found themselves in trouble, dragged away from shore by a suspected rip current.
Rescue crews battled waves as high as seven feet during the search effort.More news: Guam's worries grow as tensions rise between US, North Korea
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A Duluth firefighter involved in the search also was taken to a hospital as a precautionary measure after a rescue boat capsized and his survival suit took on water, authorities said. According to the Fire Department and the Minnesota Sea Grant, that incident fourteen years ago helped kick-start the flag warning system. "The waves are really high, probably talking about six-, seven-foot waves, pretty hard search conditions", Simonson said. They found the man about 40 minutes later.
A Duluth firefighter was injured when he took in a large amount of water during the rescue effort. The firefighters floated in the water next to their upside-down boat, trying to let the waves push them toward shore. Earlier Thursday, the Duluth Fire Department had issued a "red flag warning" for the Park Point beach. There were no lifeguards on duty on Thursday. His condition is non-life threatening. "That's why we issue those warnings, but sometimes people aren't aware of it and what's going on", Simonson said.