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Dave Olson, Published June 03 2013

Fargo woman in critical condition after again being rescued from Red River

FARGO – A 41-year-old Fargo woman who police say was rescued from the Red River May 24 was taken to the hospital early Monday and in critical condition after Fargo firefighters found her again floating in the Red River.

According to reports from the Fargo police and fire departments:

Fargo police received a 911 call from a cellphone about 1:25 a.m. Monday from a woman claiming to be in the Red River.

The caller was unable or unwilling to provide any more information, but dispatchers determined the call was from the same phone used May 24 when a female reported she was in the Red River.

Based on that information, police and fire units were sent to the Midtown Dam in Dike East Park, in the area where the earlier incident was reported.

Police found a cellphone on the shore at the Midtown Dam but did not find the phone’s owner.

Authorities then searched the area and a fire crew in a boat spotted a woman floating in the river about 20 yards north of the boat ramp in Dike East Park.

Firefighters wearing cold water rescue suits pulled the woman to shore. Emergency workers performed CPR on the woman and she was taken by ambulance to Sanford Medical Center.

On Monday afternoon, the woman’s condition was listed as critical, according to Fargo Deputy Police Chief Pat Claus, who said authorities believe the woman is the same person who called 911 early on May 24 to report she was in the Red River.

In that incident, authorities arriving on the scene found a phone on the riverbank and a woman clinging to a structure near the boat landing in Dike East Park.

The woman, who was rescued and treated for hypothermia, said she fell in the river after going near the water to go to the bathroom.

Claus said police are not publicly identifying the woman because the matter is still under investigation and because the department does not, as a matter of procedure, release victim information on calls for service involving medical or health issues.

Asked whether charges may be filed against the woman, Claus said he could not speak to the specific situation.

In general, he said, authorities would hesitate to bring charges if they believed it would have a chilling effect on people seeking help when they experience mental health or other issues.