Swift Current on St. Croix Slows Search for Coon Rapids Man

Updated: 05/28/2014 7:43 AM
Created: 05/27/2014 1:26 PM
By: Megan Stewart

A swift current on the St. Croix River in Chisago County has slowed the search for a 21-year-old Coon Rapids man presumed drowned after trying to rescue his nephew. Boats have been in the water this week searching for Tou Hu Vang.

During search efforts Tuesday, it was no longer safe to drag, a technique used in underwater recovery efforts, Chisago County Sheriff Rick Duncan said. Duncan said crews were limited to scanning banks and the river's surface.

Vang went missing Sunday evening after jumping into the river to save his nephew who fell in while fishing. A good Samaritan, who witnessed the 11-year-old go in, jumped off a 30-foot cliff into the river and was able to rescue the boy.

Ken Hawj, of St Paul, said he heard Vang yelling help before he risked his life jumping into the water.

Vang did not make it back to shore. Crews were called to start searching around 4:45 p.m. Sunday.

Duncan said the current Tuesday was strong enough to disengage the body if it was stuck underwater.

Duncan said they plan to search the water surface and banks every day until the water slows enough for them to look underwater again.

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