Vehicle in the water

A member of the Merrill Fire Department, attached to a cable, prepares to wade out into the Wisconsin River to look for occupants in the vehicle. Photo courtesy of Merrill Fire Department.


At approximately 7:42 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2023, the Lincoln County 911 Dispatch Center received a call that there was a vehicle in the Wisconsin River, partially submerged, at the end of Lokemoen Rd. in the Town of Merrill. The 911 caller was uncertain whether anyone was inside the vehicle.
Emergency crews, including Merrill Fire Department Engine 61, Medic 61, Medic 62, and Utility 68 w/Boat 69 were dispatched to the Lokemoen boat landing.
“Upon arrival at scene Engine 61 assumed command and found a mostly submerged 4-door SUV,” a press release from the Merrill Fire Department said. Emergency personnel were also unable to determine whether the vehicle was occupied from their position at the boat landing.
“Personnel from Medic 61 donned cold water rescue suits,” the release said. “One rescuer attached to a safety line was able to walk out to the vehicle and visually inspect for occupants. There did not appear to be any occupants in the vehicle.”
“After consulting with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, it was decided to remove the vehicle from the water. Utilizing the winch on Engine 61, personnel were able to attach a cable to the driver side rear wheel and remove the vehicle from the water. Once the vehicle was removed from the water, it was confirmed to be unoccupied. The scene was turned over to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office,” the release concluded.
The incident remains under investigation.

Emergency crews from the Merrill Fire Department investigate a vehicle found partially submerged in the Wisconsin River last week. Photo courtesy of Merrill Fire Department.

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