Search mission continues for 3 swimmers who went missing near Red Wing

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Authorities continue to search for three people who went missing Monday evening in the Vermillion River, north of Red Wing.

According to the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office, a family was gathered on the north side of Diamond Island on the Vermillion River near where it feeds into the Mississippi River. One family member was fishing from the shore, while the others were swimming in the river.

All three swimmers started to struggle, and the fisher got in the water to help them. He managed to get his adult daughter to safety, but when he went in to get the others, a man and a 17-year-old girl, he went underwater and did not resurface. The sheriff’s office says a 911 call went out 10-15 minutes later.

Emergency crews responded around 7:35 p.m. Monday and searched for about three hours, the sheriff’s office said. The search resumed at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning in both the Vermillion and Mississippi rivers.

Maj. Mike Johnson with the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office said the group was swimming in about 3 feet of water, but there’s a point nearby where it drops to 9 feet deep. All of them are part of the same household in Oakdale.

Johnson said as of Tuesday afternoon, the effort to find them is considered a “search and recovery” mission.