Iowa man drowns on camping trip

Posted on Saturday, August 9, 2014 -- 7:32 p.m.

Grant County Sheriff's Office received a call about a possible drowning on the Mississippi River around 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

53-year-old Jerry Thill of Dubuque, Iowa, had been camping on an island on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River across from Finley's Landing Park with four other men also from Dubuque. Thill had gone into the river to check why the fishing was so bad.

The other four men said that Thill was in the water up to his chest and appeared to be fine.

Thill suddenly appeared distressed and tried to swim. One of the men swam to him to try to help Thill, but was not able to keep a strong hold on him. It resulted Thill to go under water and not resurface. A phone call to 911 was immediately placed.

The Iowa DNR were at the scene shortly after the 911 call was received. They were able to use their side scan sonar to locate an object that appeared to be a body. About an hour later, Thill was recovered from the river. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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