Two people rescued from Vernon County lake after boat capsizes

Two people were rescued from a rural Viroqua lake after their pedal-power boat took on water and capsized Sunday.

Christopher D. Barnes, 31, of rural Viroqua, and Micayla M. Cecil, 26, of Westby, were operating the boat on Runge Hollow Lake. At 2:30 p.m., the boat took on water in a shallow area on the west side of the lake, according to the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office.

The occupants were able to communicate with a cellphone until they were rescued by members of the Viroqua Fire Department.

Cecil was transported to Vernon Memorial Healthcare with possible injuries. Barnes was not injured during the incident.

Neither person was wearing a flotation device.

The Sheriff’s Office reminds all boaters the law requires the following:

-All water vessels to have at least one U.S. Coast Guard-approved wearable life jacket for each person on board.

-All vessels 16 feet or more must have a USCG-approved throwable personal floatation device on board that is immediately accessible.

-Every person on board a personal watercraft must wear a USCG-approved life jacket.

Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance and the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the scene.

The incident remains under investigation by the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

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