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Two Minnesota brothers rescued after boat sinks in Mississippi River

Two Minnesota brothers were rescued hours after their boat sank in the Mississippi River, Beltrami County authorities reported Monday.

William Wright, 69, Northome, and David Wright, 61, Brainerd, were fishing Friday afternoon in northern Minnesota when their boat sank. The men began walking in the woods to get help but became lost north of the river.

The sheriff's office said the brothers were able to get cell phone reception and call authorities just before 7 p.m. By that time, they already had been walking for more than three hours.

Beryl Wernberg, spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, said in a written statement that it was "a miracle in itself" for the men to have made it out of the river in an area with tall grass and rough terrain.

Dispatchers were able to track the location of the men using the cell phone's GPS feature, and then helped guide them closer to the river. Deputies found the brothers at about 8:20 p.m. between Knudson Dam and Three Mile Road, hours after they began walking to find help.

Wernberg said the terrain in that area is "extremely difficult" to walk through, and it was a "miracle" that they were able to keep walking in the 90 degree heat and high humidity.

Both men had many bug bites and one was almost overcome with dehydration.

"There were no roads or trails for them to navigate -- just incredible swamps and very rough terrain," Wernberg wrote.

Authorities said alcohol was not involved in the incident.