LSU fans from Baton Rouge save Wisconsin man from drowning

LSU fans from Baton Rouge rescue a man who had fallen into the Milwaukee River on Monday afternoon.
LSU fans from Baton Rouge rescue a man who had fallen into the Milwaukee River on Monday afternoon.

A disappointing weekend for Tiger fans ended in the stunning rescue of a Wisconsin man by Baton Rougeans who were in the state for LSU’s season opener against the University of Wisconsin, a witness said.

Jill Dunlap, 47, of Baton Rouge, told The Advocate her husband and a friend leaped to the aid of a man who fell into the Milwaukee River and saved him while dining along the Milwaukee Riverwalk on Monday afternoon.

Dunlap was with her husband and two friends in Milwaukee after watching the LSU Tigers football team lose to the Wisconsin Badgers in Green Bay on Saturday. Their other team, the Milwaukee Brewers, lost to the Chicago Cubs on Monday.

The group was enjoying drinks at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery when they heard a woman screaming Monday at about 4 p.m., Dunlap said.

A man in his 60s or 70s had fallen off a small yacht while trying to tie it to the dock, she said. While the man was struggling in the water, the boat “was still backing up on him,” Dunlap said.

Dunlap said she urged her husband, a colonel in the Louisiana National Guard: “Help him!”

Col. John Dunlap and his friend, Ron Duplessis, had trouble lifting the man out of the water because there was no ledge or footing, she said.

So the pair created a stirrup out of rope for the man to stand on as they lifted him out of the Milwaukee River. They were joined by a Chicago firefighter, she said.

“It took three men to get him out,” Jill Dunlap said. “The whole place started cheering. The man (who was rescued) started crying and he’s like, ‘I’m not a good swimmer and I appreciate what you did,’” she said.

Jill Dunlap said she doesn’t know the name of the man who fell in the river but said he was a local. The Milwaukee Police Department did not respond to a call late Monday for more information.

“(The crowd) was like, ‘Where are y’all from?’ Of course, it’s ‘You guys.’ It was very cool,” she said. “Finally something good came out of this trip.”