The Rochester Fire Department rescued a man from the fast moving Zumbro River in downtown Rochester Saturday afternoon.

Battalion Chief Erik Propotnik says the man was riding an inflatable lounge chair down the river when he was apparently thrown into the water when he went over a low head dam. He somehow managed to avoid being trapped in the backwash area below the dam and made his way to a pillar on the South Broadway Bridge.

The responding firefighters deployed a rescue boat downstream and others stationed themselves along the riverbank with rescue ropes in case the man was swept away by the strong current.

While the rescue boat was being positioned for the rescue, Propotnik says the man started walking away from the pillar and hit a drop-off, which plunged him completely underwater momentarily.  The firefighters on the rescue boat were able to grab the man and pull him to safety.

Once he was brought to shore, he was checked out by paramedics and indicated he was not hurt.

Propotnik says the fire department is asking the public to use extreme caution while recreating on waterways particularly now after recent heavy rainfalls.  Water levels are higher than normal and moving much faster making conditions unpredictable. Additionally debris tends to be present in larger quantities after flooding has occurred.

He also notes that navigating the Zumbro River inside the city limits, as it is considered part of the park system, is prohibited by ordinance  regardless of conditions.