Metro-East News

Stranded boater rescued from Mississippi River island after his boat floated away

A stranded boater became the focus of a multiagency water rescue Friday evening.

The Collinsville man took a raft out to Mosenthein Island, which is just south of Chouteau Island along the Illinois side of the Mississippi River. He was hunting arrowheads on the island, according to Madison Fire Chief Jeff Bridick. However, the boat floated away, stranding the man on the island.

Mosenthein Island is one of three islands in the Mississippi near St. Louis, clustered about one mile south of the confluence of the Mississippi, Illinois and Missouri rivers into the greater Mississippi. Chouteau Island is connected to Illinois by a narrow bridge and to the Missouri side via the Old Chain of Rocks bridge, and Gabaret Island is separated from Chouteau by a strip of wetland side channel. But Mosenthein Island is only accessible by boat.

Madison Fire Department was called out with their water rescue equipment, along with multiple other agencies. Workers needed to use a smaller boat to approach the island due to low water levels, Bridick said, and eventually waded the rest of the way to reach the man, who was not injured. He was rescued and taken to safety without further incident.

The three islands are considered a satellite of Horseshoe Lake State Park, with some property belonging to the city of Madison or the federal government. Hunting is permitted on the islands with the proper permits.

Belleville, Signal Hill and St. Louis City fire departments were among those assisting Madison Fire in the rescue, Bridick said.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald