Illinois hikers yell for help after being stranded in a swamp

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FAIRMONT CITY, Ill. – Eight agencies responded Tuesday night to help rescue a pair of nature walkers near Illinois Route 111 and Collinsville Road in Fairmont City.

“It’s very swampy back there,” said Fairmont City Assistant Fire Chief Daniel Rafalowski. “There are cattails forever tall and it’s just as thick as you could imagine.”

First responders said the area is not a place to explore. The two nature walkers ended up calling 911 for help.

“They wound up finding themselves in an area they were less familiar with and stuck in the swampy area,” said Fairmont City Fire Lt. Rick Ramirez.

As first responders approached they could hear the nature walkers yelling for help. The temperate at the time was near freezing.

“We could actually see their flashlight off their cellphone. Once we got to them, they were just severely cold,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez and Rafalowski credit the teamwork of all agencies involved and the use of an airboat from St. Clair Special Services for a successful outcome.

“The boat pulled right up to us and we loaded them up and out they brought us out,” Rafalowski said.

Both the walkers were alert and taken to an area hospital for observation.

“I don’t know how they got there but we got them out,” said Rafalowski. “That’s all that matters.”

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