Minneapolis Boys Float Two Miles on Ice Chunk
April 3, 1941: 15-year-old George Fitting and 14-year-old Clarence Garscia, both of Northeast Minneapolis, floated precariously down the Mississippi River on a chunk of ice that broke free from shore near Camden while they were playing on it. They assumed the ice was solid because of a sapling frozen into the center, but it broke loose, sending the two down the Mississippi River on a disappearing raft. At one point the boys attempted to slow down the impact with another chunk of ice as George crouched and Clarence readied a stick (photo 2). It took the Minneapolis Fire Department Rescue Squad more than three tries to shoot a rope-gun from the Northern Pacific railroad bridge to reach the boys (photos 5 and 6), before a boat could maneuver through the ice to meet them. By the time they were rescued their ice cake had grown so small they hardly dared move an inch. The boys were quite relieved to have been rescued well before reaching St. Anthony Falls, another two miles downstream.