Emergency rescue boats slowly ride through the Rock River Sunday morning, raking the area and examining the murky waters to find signs of life. After a man fell out of his canoe into the river and went missing. "A canoe tipped over, there were two victims. The second victim went under, and his buddy did not see him come back up, so he called 911." Said Blackhawk Fire Chief Roger Flood
Officials say the two men may have hit debris in the river, causing the canoe to tip. One of the men was able to get out of the water, and call police. Rockford, Belvidere and Blackhawk fire squads responded to the scene of the crash and began an emergency water rescue. "After we got out here, they decided to pull a MABAS for a water rescue, and got all of the other Winnebago county water rescue teams out here."
Rescue crews say the above average water levels, and a high current created dangerous conditions for the two men. "The water is really high right now, and when it is this high it moves really fast, a canoe probably was not the safest thing to be out in when the water is moving that fast."
After hours on the river, the rescue teams have not yet recovered or located the missing man. "After a certain amount of time, you just know that you are not going to find the victim. It goes from a rescue to a recovery, and right now we are in recovery mode."
Wearing a water safety jacket is a must when going near any body of water, and rescue crews say it is best to stay away from the river at night. "A life vest is very, very important right now. No matter if you are just trying to go across the river, you just never know what is going to happen." Said Shane Schiro of the Blackhawk Fire Department