Rock River Log Rider Not Fined


“If it was up to me, he would’ve been fined.”

North Park Deputy Fire Chief Brian Kunce expressing his frustration after a water rescue on the Rock River near the Bauer Parkway bridge Sunday evening.  A man first tried to use a tube to go down the river, but then opted for the log. Nearby resident Glenda Jensen watched as rescuers pulled him out of the water.
“First time I’ve ever known of anybody going down the river on a log,” said Jensen.

Firefighters used a rescue boat to save the man in just 15 minutes. He won’t face a fine or any charges. Something Kunce disagrees with since the rescue put his team at risk.

“We understand the risks of our job,” said Kunce. “However, to alleviate some of that, is where people really need to think and not go out on the river. Especially now with the flooding conditions and how fast the river is moving.”

Patricia Salmons also lives near where the rescue took place. She agrees with the Chief: Flooding conditions are nothing to play with.

“I’m here to tell you.. Stay off the river,” said Salmons. “The levels are serious, the current is fast, you’re putting yourself in danger and the emergency people lives in danger.”

Jensen says she’s glad the man is okay, but hopes he has learned his lesson.

“I figure a fine wouldn’t have hurt but I’m glad he wasn’t arrested,” said Jensen. “But, I thought a court date would make him think twice next time.”

Kunce says that the Rock River isn’t closed to stop the public from enjoying it, but for safety reasons.

“You know on the weekends everyone wants to go out an have fun but right now nobody is supposed to be on the river.”

The Rock River will continue to be closed throughout all of Winnebago County until further notice.

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