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Missing boater found on shore

About nine hours after his boat capsized on Pelican Lake, a 68-year-old Merrifield man was found safe on shore by law enforcement officers searching for him, the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Department reported Tuesday. 

Daniel Larson went fishing on Pelican Lake about 8 p.m.Monday. He told officers that about 9 p.m. his 14-foot fishing boat with a nine-horsepower motor capsized. 

Daniel Larson, who was wearing a life jacket, told officers he stayed with the capsized boat most of the time. 

At 12:59 a.m. on Tuesday, Daniel Larson’s wife, Merrilee Larson, reported him missing on Pelican Lake. The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Boat and Water Division, along with the Crosslake and Breezy Point police departments, started a search but were hampered by poor weather because of a severe thunderstorm in the area late Monday and early Tuesday, said Sheriff’s Lt. Dave Larson. 

“We weren’t able to get on the lake right away, that storm was just so bad,” Lt. Dave Larson said. 

At 5:17 a.m. Tuesday officers located Daniel Larson standing in the water near the shoreline by the Halverson Bay public access. Daniel Larson told officers he had just reached shore before officers found him. 

Daniel Larson was transported by North Ambulance to Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center for an evaluation. Merrilee Larson said her husband was being held at the hospital for observation and probably would be released Wednesday. 

While Daniel Larson did the right thing by wearing his life jacket and staying with his boat after it capsized, Lt. Dave Larson said it is important for anglers to be aware of the weather forecast and watch weather while out on the water.

“But wearing the life jacket, that probably saved his life for sure,” Lt. Dave Larson said. 

MATT ERICKSON may be reached at or 855-5857.