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Drunken Woodbury teen pulled from river

Two Woodbury, Minn., girls are alive today, thanks to the actions of strangers and Hudson, Wis., police Monday afternoon.

Samantha R. Bartelmy, 17, and Andrea D. Nagle, 19, instead left Hudson with hangovers and citations for underage consumption of alcohol.

Authorities received a 911 call from a citizen who said there were two extremely intoxicated young women near them at the beach on the end of the dike road.

One of the women, Nagle, was passed out but Bartelmy was reportedly attempting to swim west across the St. Croix River channel to the Minnesota shore, and the caller wasn't sure she would make it.

Hudson Police officers Ed Rankin and Jon Grass responded to the call.

There were no rescue boats on the river at the time and because they had no immediate access to a rescue boat themselves, the officers enlisted the help of a private boater who agreed to retrieve the swimming girl from the channel.

Based on the girl's suspected level of intoxication, the officers believed the woman would have drowned if she had not been pulled from the river by the boater.

Once Bartelmy was pulled from the water by the unidentified boater and returned to shore, she initially resisted the officers' assistance.

She was eventually taken into custody, and a subsequent breath test showed her blood alcohol content to be 0.26, more than three times the 0.08 legal limit for a person 21 or older.

Nagle was taken from the beach area by EMS and transported to Hudson Hospital for evaluation and treatment. Her blood alcohol at the hospital registered 0.39, almost five times the legal limit.

According to police, the blood alcohol levels of the two women, coupled with Bartelmy's attempt to swim the river channel, put both their lives at risk.

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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