A 53-year-old Dubuque man drowned in the Mississippi River near Potosi Friday afternoon.
The body of Jerry S. Thill was found by an Iowa Department of Natural Resources boat participating in the rescue attempt around 4:40 p.m.
According to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Thill and four other Dubuque men were camping on an island on the Wisconsin side across from Finley’s Landing Park, north of Sherrill, Iowa and west of Potosi.
Thill went into chest-high water to “check out why the fishing was so bad,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release, before he “suddenly appeared distressed, trying to swim, but was not able to.”
One of the men, Steven C. Kruckenberg, 23, swam to Thill to try to help him, but he was not able to get a strong hold on Thill, and Thill went under water and didn’t resurface, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The Iowa DNR boat reached the scene shortly after the 911 call. The Potosi, Cassville and Sherrill fire departments responded, as did Potosi EMS and the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office.
The DNR boat’s sonar found an object in the water that appeared to be a body, and Thill was recovered about an hour later. He was pronounced dead at the scene once he was brought to shore in Potosi, the Sheriff’s Office said.