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Rescue team called when kayakers fall in Milwaukee River

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THIENSVILLE (WITI) -- Rescuers were called out to the Milwaukee River Saturday when witnesses reported seeing three men in the water. Fortunately, when crews arrived they saw the three kayakers walking along the shoreline.

Although Thiensville Fire Chief Brian Reiels is happy to see no one was hurt, he wasn't happy about having to respond to this call.

"It's very frustrating for emergency responders," he said, "I don't know if people take it seriously but the river is very, very dangerous at this time; this is not a game."

The kayakers, two adult males and the teenage son of one of the men, were warned to stay out of the flooded river according to Thiensville Police. They were not issued citations. Reiels says it's the second time this week crews had to respond to a kayaker in the river.

"The water's moving extremely fast and this is an extremely dangerous situation and will remain so for probably another week and a half or two weeks," he said.

Bill Bergenthal lives near the river about two miles south of where the kayakers were found. It was near his Mequon home that crews intercepted two of the three kayaks. In previous years, he's seen the power of a flooded river.

"There was a trailer that was floating down the river, all kinds of things, really big trees," he said, "I didn't see any trees this year but in the past, there have been really big trees floating down the river - and fast."

And that's why officials are asking adventurers to stay out of the water.

"We just urge the general public to please, please stay away from the river," Reiels said, "It's a very dangerous situation right now."

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