ISANTI COUNTY, Minn. (KMSP) - A family is safe after a tubing accident Monday on the Rum River in Isanti County, Minnesota. Now, the family is grateful for the help of a few good Samaritans.
It’s a good thing 12-year old Jarred Goodman is hooked on fishing because at Martins Landing, his obsession put him in the right place at the right time.
“I was sitting over there fishing and this guy came running and he’s like, ‘does anybody have a phone,’ and I was going to say no, but then he said ‘my kids are drowning,’ so then I freeze and in an instant I threw my phone to him,” Goodman said.
Rocky Soligny was floating with his wife, son, two nephews and toddler granddaughter when the wind pushed them into a downed tree and two of their five tubes burst.
“At first when I grabbed onto the branches, I started screaming and whistling as hard as I could, and nothing…there’s no one. So that’s when I decided, I talked to my wife and said I have to get out…I gotta get some help,” Soligny said.
With no shoes and no shirt, Rocky Soligny ran through the woods to get help after his tube popped on the river. That's when he found Jarred.
The Isanti County Sheriff and Isanti Fire department got them out safely and rather quickly. The sheriff praised them for all wearing life jackets and staying calm.
The sheriff also defends against social media critics, saying it’s common for families to float with small kids down the normally lazy river.
“The biggest fear for me was when I left them and came back, if they’re not there. That was a huge fear,” Soligny said.
If not for the fisherman upstream, it would have been another mile or more to find help.
“If he did that, then the children would be in trouble, so I’m glad I was there,” Goodman said.