Mazeppa, MN (KROC AM News) – It was a scary night for three people who were pontooning on Lake Zumbro Saturday - they survived a fall over the Lake Zumbro power dam.

Wabasha County Sheriff Rodney Bartsh says the harrowing incident happened around 10:30 PM.

He says deputies arrived at Mac’s Park Place campground to find three people in the pontoon which stayed upright after the 55-foot fall over the dam. The three were rescued.

photo from Lynn Coker
photo from Lynn Coker

Bartsh says a fourth person on the pontoon was able to jump off before it went over the dam and swam to a buoy. That person was also rescued.Bartsch says one person was taken to a hospital for treatment.

The four had docked the pontoon near the dam building and walked to Mac's to visit. They later returned and as they were leaving in the pontoon, they did not realize they were very close to the top of the dam. Maneuvers to drive away failed and the pontoon went over with the three onboard. The pontoon landed upright on a shelf at the bottom of the dam. The sheriff's office says the investigation continues but it appears "alcohol and darkness played a part in this incident."

Initial reports indicated people were missing in the water which led to a response from his department, Goodhue County deputies, firefighters from Mazeppa and ambulance service from Zumbrota.

No names have been released. A camper at Mac's told KROC News "the place went nuts" after word spread about the incident. The pontoon was still below the dam as of Sunday morning.

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