Two people, dog rescued from Fox River in Algonquin

Firefighters from the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District rescued two people and a dog after the Grayslake couple's boat got stuck under an Algonquin bridge Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

The pontoon boat's engine died while the group was crossing the Fox River under the Algonquin Road bridge, officials said. The boat had run over a piece of rope that wrapped around the propellers and killed the engine before getting stuck, Assistant Fire Chief Peter Van Dorp said.

The initial call for help came in at 12:17 p.m. and the rescue lasted about an hour, officials said.

Firefighters rescued the group by putting them in another boat and bringing them to shore, Van Dorp said.

"It looked dramatic for a few seconds, but it was pretty routine," Van Dorp said.

The bridge is close to the Algonquin Dam, and the river's strong currents prevented the boat from moving. The canopy atop the boat got stuck under the bridge and was the only thing that prevented the trio from going over the dam, officials said.

"It happened so fast ... you're at the river's mercy," said Steve Leseth, who was rescued with his wife, Grace, and their dog, Aubry. The trio was checked at the scene for injury and released, Van Dorp said. They were not injured.

Two of the four lanes on the bridge were closed while the rescue took place. Authorities hired a company to tow the boat from the water.

• Daily Herald staff photographer Brooke Herbert Hayes contributed to this story.

  McHenry County sheriff's marine unit Cmdr. Joe Marvin, far left, takes a report from Grace and Steve Leseth after they were rescued from their pontoon boat by the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District Wednesday afternoon from under the Algonquin Road in Algonquin. Steve is holding their dog, Aubry, who was also on the boat with them. Brooke Herbert Hayes/
  Grace and Steve Leseth were rescued from their pontoon boat Wednesday afternoon under the Algonquin Road bridge by the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District. Brooke Herbert Hayes/
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