A 42-year-old South St. Paul woman was the victim of an apparent drowning at Pembles Beach in Troy Township (Wis.) when crews were called at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
Lona Yvonne Donahue was swimming with her 13-year-old daughter and a young friend when the three were standing on a long, submerged sandbar and swept further into the St. Croix River by large waves, the daughter said. The three tried to swim for shore instead of back to the sandbar and were unable to stay afloat.
Two other beachgoers, Matthew Finley, 19, of River Falls, Wis., and Matthew Leick, 23, of Hudson, Wis., were able to rescue the juveniles but were not able to reach the adult. The St. Croix County Sheriff's Department called their efforts "heroic."
Rescue efforts went on until midnight Saturday, then reconvened at 9 a.m. Sunday. The body was recovered at 11:29 a.m.
The Pierce County, (Wis.),Washington County and Dakota County sheriff's departments, as well as the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, River Falls EMS and Hudson EMS dive team assisted.
Pembles Beach is about five miles south of the Interstate 94 bridge at Hudson.