On the evening of July 26, 2017, Fox Valley Park District Police responded to a call for help near Lippold Park, where two teenage females were found in the Fox River clinging to a tree after their inflatable raft overturned. The victims were not wearing life jackets.
Other assisting agencies were North Aurora Police, Kane County Sheriff’s Department and North Aurora Fire Department.
Upon arrival, emergency personnel determined the victims were too far out in the river to reach via life preserver ring. The victims were advised to continue hanging on so as not to enter into the rapid current of the flooded river.
North Aurora Fire Department arrived with a rescue boat from downriver and was able to successfully recover the victims, who were taken by ambulance to North Aurora Village Hall.
Both refused medical treatment and were transported back to their car at Lippold Park.
The victims were part of a group that included five other teenagers who remained on land and were able to make calls to emergency personnel as the victims became stranded in the river.
It was determined the victims entered the Fox River in an inflatable raft at a fishing access station located in Lippold Park and attempted to paddle north – against the current – toward Glenwood Forest Preserve when the raft overturned.
Due to flooding and record high water levels, the Fox River has been closed to recreational boating since July 14 from the Chain ‘o Lakes to the Montgomery dam. The Fox River is still above flood level, measuring 13.5 feet at the USGS gauge in Montgomery. Flood stage at that location is 13 feet.