A man, said to be in his 50s, was unhurt but shaken up after his canoe capsized on the Des Plaines River on Thursday afternoon.
Police received multiple 911 calls of a man in the water screaming for help about 2:30 p.m. Emergency personnel located the man hanging onto a tree branch on the Riverside Lawn side of the river near the former Fairbank dam location.
One police officer on the Riverside bank deployed the department’s water-rescue bag but missed the man, who was clutching both the tree branch and his canoe. The man then lost hold of the branch and the river’s swift current pushed him and the canoe toward the Riverside bank, where he was assisted out of the water by two police officers.
Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said the man was wearing a floatation device. There was no further information about where the man started his journey or where he was headed.
The Des Plaines River has risen nearly 2 feet since Monday afternoon in the wake of heavy rains on Wednesday. As of 1:45 p.m., the river was at 5.48 feet in Riverside, according to the National Weather Service.
The current has also picked up noticeably. Weitzel characterized the current on Thursday afternoon as “very swift-moving.”