3 rescued from Vermilion River near Lowell

20 first responders rush to site near Lowell

Oglesby, Utica and Tonica firefighters rescue a group of individuals who's raft overturned while on the Vermilion River on Wednesday, May 16, 2024 near Lowell. The group were stranded on a island about a half-mile west of the Illinois Route 178 bridge. The incident happened around 1p.m.

Three people were rescued Wednesday from the Vermilion River after their raft capsized. All three refused medical treatment at the scene.

Tonica fire Chief Al Stremlau said first responders were dispatched at 12:58 p.m. to an area west of the Vermilion stone quarry just north of Lowell in Vermilion Township.

Stremlau confirmed that there were no injuries. The three individuals who were ejected from the raft were evaluated at the scene and signed forms refusing treatment.

“It was a great team effort by the rescue team,” Stremlau said. “I’m glad that everybody made it out safe.”

About 20 first responders assisted from Utica, Oglesby, La Salle and Ottawa rescue teams and the MABAS 25 Water Rescue Team.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police were not available to comment on why the rafters capsized. The river is, however, swollen and fast moving after recent rains.

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