MASON CITY, Iowa - An 18-year-old Charles City man is safe Tuesday after being rescued from the Winnebago River after a vehicle plunged into the freezing water.
First responders were on scene around 7:30 a.m. after a report of a vehicle in the river.
Upon arrival, Gael Salcedo was located inside the vehicle.
He was helped to safety by first responders, including Lt. Craig Warner with the Mason City Fire Department. Salcedo was later treated and released.
The Cerro Gordo County Sheriff's Office said Salcedo encountered a snow patch just south of the bridge area that caused him to lose control. The momentum caused him to travel over an embankment and into the river, officials said. Salcedo was wearing a seatbelt.
“He did an awesome job of walking himself out,” Warner said. “You don’t realize how strong that water is. It’s a workout.”
The man was taken to MercyOne-North Iowa via ambulance.
He was alert and talking to first responders after being helped from the water.
The location of the incident was Thrush Ave. and Claybanks Dr., which is near Portland and southeast of Mason City.
Warner said calls like this are a reason why he’s been in the profession for more than two decades.
“Every time the horn goes off, there’s an opportunity to help somebody,” he said.
The temperature Tuesday morning was around zero degrees.