SEVERE WX : Heat Advisory View Alerts

Man rescued from freezing Winnebago River credits Siri, first responders for being safe

Gael Salcedo's day started out just like any other, until he hit a patch of ice and ended up in the Winnebago River.

Posted: Dec 10, 2019 9:09 PM
Updated: Dec 11, 2019 8:51 AM

CHARLES CITY, Iowa - Gael Salcedo, 18, was on his way to classes at NIACC when he hit a patch of ice on the road and plunged into the icy Winnebago River.

"I turned to the right and from there, everything just went blurry.  I didn't know where I was going and then I just didn't know what to do.  I was just thinking in my head 'I think I'm going to die,'" he said.

Once he realized the was in the river, He quickly rolled down the window, afraid his Jeep might sink.  Salcedo then reached out for help with a little bit of modern technology.

He said, "I lost my phone and since I couldn't find it, I was like 'Hey Siri, call 911.'  And once Siri called, that's when I found my phone finally."

Firefighters from Mason City arrived quickly.  They approached the water-logged Jeep from the passenger side, because the river current was pinning the driver's side door shut.  As that was happening, the water was rapidly rising.

"[I] basically explained to him that there's no other way.  You're going to have to walk out.  I'll be right there with you holding on every step of the way," said Lieutenant Craig Warner with the Mason City Fire Department.

Salcedo's wet walk through the bitter cold river felt every bit as bad as you'd imagine.

"My hands were freezing.  I couldn't feel my legs anymore, so I was struggling a lot and the water was just so strong, so I kept tripping and I had the guy help me up a bunch of times and I used all my strength to get out of the water," he said.

First responders had to help Salcedo into the ambulance.  He was taken to MercyOne North Iowa and treated for shock.  Salcedo was released from the hospital only three hours later.  

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 39133

Reported Deaths: 1514
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12597787
Ramsey4963229
Dakota242192
Stearns241419
Anoka2266109
Nobles16726
Olmsted114715
Washington113740
Mower9602
Rice8488
Scott7624
Clay59138
Kandiyohi5781
Blue Earth4942
Wright4835
Todd4012
Carver3951
Lyon3272
Sherburne3255
Freeborn2970
Watonwan2380
Steele2371
Benton2203
St. Louis19615
Nicollet17312
Martin1715
Cottonwood1360
Goodhue1318
Winona12915
Crow Wing10812
Le Sueur1081
Pine1070
Chisago1021
Otter Tail1001
McLeod920
Dodge880
Carlton870
Unassigned8537
Polk822
Chippewa791
Isanti750
Waseca710
Douglas650
Murray650
Itasca6412
Meeker611
Morrison611
Faribault600
Pipestone592
Becker570
Jackson550
Sibley542
Pennington520
Renville362
Beltrami340
Brown342
Mille Lacs342
Wabasha330
Rock310
Fillmore300
Yellow Medicine300
Houston270
Swift221
Wilkin213
Norman200
Redwood190
Koochiching181
Grant170
Roseau170
Cass162
Aitkin150
Big Stone150
Kanabec151
Wadena150
Marshall120
Pope120
Lincoln100
Mahnomen101
Clearwater90
Hubbard80
Lake60
Stevens50
Traverse50
Lac qui Parle40
Red Lake40
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32064

Reported Deaths: 731
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6739181
Woodbury326044
Black Hawk232358
Buena Vista171911
Johnson13408
Linn130482
Dallas129129
Marshall106019
Scott84510
Story8063
Pottawattamie74512
Dubuque74222
Wapello70830
Crawford6783
Muscatine64944
Sioux4810
Tama46829
Wright3851
Louisa36313
Jasper32517
Plymouth3245
Warren2911
Dickinson2663
Webster2484
Washington2459
Cerro Gordo1901
Hamilton1891
Boone1501
Clay1370
Allamakee1334
Clarke1333
Mahaska11717
Shelby1170
Clinton1131
Poweshiek1078
Carroll991
Pocahontas981
Bremer957
Franklin950
Des Moines912
Emmet870
Henry863
Cedar851
Hardin810
Taylor800
Monona770
Cherokee761
Floyd732
Marion710
Benton681
Guthrie684
Jones640
Sac640
Jefferson620
Osceola620
Buchanan601
Butler592
Hancock551
Humboldt551
Calhoun542
Harrison540
Lee542
Iowa530
Delaware511
Monroe517
Fayette500
Madison482
Lyon450
Clayton443
Davis411
Mitchell410
Palo Alto410
Grundy400
Mills390
Winneshiek390
Kossuth360
Howard340
Jackson340
Union340
Lucas314
Chickasaw290
Greene290
Winnebago290
Cass240
Ida230
Appanoose213
Keokuk211
Van Buren210
Page200
Worth200
Adair160
Audubon161
Unassigned160
Ringgold150
Decatur120
Montgomery102
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont80
Rochester
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 71°
Mason City
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 71°
Albert Lea
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 75°
Austin
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 73°
Charles City
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 73°
Some relief in sight, after more storms
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events