West Allis canoeing family rescued from Mukwonago River

July 30, 2012

West Allis - A West Allis family of four was rescued from the Mukwonago River on Saturday after their canoe got stuck in the weeds.

Mukwonago Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Andy Wegner explained that the Vetter family, which consisted of the couple and their two small children younger than 10, was traveling east down the Mukwonago River from Marsh Road and got into a muddy area they couldn't navigate well due to very low water levels and tall weeds.

The father, Brian Vetter, called 911 after attempting to walk back to shore, only to keep getting sucked down into the mud.

Waukesha County Communications plotted the family near Lakeside Restaurant on Phantom Woods Road; however, the family was actually around three miles away, near Lakewood Farms on Highway J.

Flight for Life was able to locate the family quickly enough to eliminate the need for additional rescue resources.

Before the family was sighted, rescuers from the Pewaukee and Mukwonago fire departments had considered searching by canoe and possibly using a hovercraft. But after the family was located, crews on the ground responded to the scene with a six-wheeler, and were able to help the family walk to shore.

No one was injured in the incident. Rescue officials said the family had plenty of food and water in their canoe to sustain them during the hour-and-a-half-long rescue.

Deputy Chief Wegner advises people avoid recreating the Mukwonago River between Marsh Road and Highway I due to extremely low water levels.

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