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Cliff diving accident claims life on WI-MN border


ST. CROIX FALLS, Wis. (WSAU) - A popular, but illegal way to cool off on the Wisconsin border has claimed another life. 20-year-old Alex William Vitalis of Shafer, Minnesota died cliff diving into the St. Croix River.

Chisago County Minnesota authorities say Vitalis’ body was recovered at noon on Tuesday from 41 feet of water. He had jumped from the rocks on the Wisconsin side of the river at Interstate Park across from the Franconia Landing in Minnesota Monday around 7:00 p.m. He never resurfaced.

The Chisago County Water Patrol and Taylors Falls Fire Department searched Monday until it was too dark, and again early Tuesday morning until they found him.

Vitalis was an avid swimmer who knew the river very well. Authorities say one of the reasons cliff diving is not safe is because the river current can change unexpectedly.