Duluth, MN (Northland’s NewsCenter) – 13 year old Duluth friends Mikinzie Schilling and Nate Powell were swimming with 12 year old Mia Ojanen on Park Point, near the Minnesota Pier, when the current pulled them toward the concrete outcropping of the ship canal pier.
Schilling and Powell were able to either climb the ladder, on the pier, or swim to shore, but Ojanen became distressed, and yelled to her friends that she was too tired to save herself.
Schilling and Powell say it was at that point they called 9–1–1, and guided Ojanen to a point along the outcropping where the waves weren't as strong, and stayed by her side until emergency crews arrived.
"...so, she was like, 'go grab your phone,' and I had her call on my phone, and I stayed with her," said Powell, who added that he and his friends have learned their lesson about swimming in such dangerous conditions.
"When it's rip–current season, keep a wary eye to the water. And, something like this is very preventable... we're so glad she's O.K.," said Undersheriff Dave Phillips.
Upon rescue, Ojanen was shaken, and worn out, but no injuries were sustained.
Undersherriff Phillips made it very clear that no one should be braving these waters in the current conditions, and while it's not illegal to swim on a day like today, it's probably the last thing anyone should do.