A jet skier is pulled from the water near the Steel Dam in Milan.
Authorities are still looking into a fatal accident on the Rock River yesterday that left one man dead and another hospitalized. We are finding out just how difficult it was for those who responded to this river rescue.
Witnesses say the two men were attempting to ride their jet skies upstream over the steel dam near Milan yesterday when one man was thrown into the water. 40-year-old Shane Ekin of Cambridge died.
His friend attempted to save him but was also thrown off the jet ski. He was able to hold on to a partially submerged tree.
That man, 42-year-old Anthony Sovey of Cambridge, suffered minor injuries, but it took 45-minutes before authorities could rescue Sovey because of the lack of equipment.
That's when they decided to call on the help of a boat operator from the Backwater Gamblers for rescue efforts.
"We selected the Backwater Gamblers boat just due to the profile, the power of the boat and the driver's knowledge of the river," said Chief Jim Fobert of the Rock Island Fire Department.
"I just did what the fire department wanted to do and we got the job done," said Brint Burrill of the Backwater Gamblers.
Officials say the two men were operating the jet skis between buoys marked "no boats" and the dam.
Officials advise swimmers and boaters not to go near those areas.