21-year-old Backus woman killed in crash in Pine River

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OUR OPINION: BOAT SAFETY

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A boater is reported missing. Weather conditions are rough. A family waits anxiously.

Sheriff’s deputies and emergency personnel in our lakes area had seen this scenario play out all too often so when the call came in that 68-year-old Daniel Larson of Merrifield had not returned from a fishing outing it was easy to expect the worse.

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Instead, what actually occurred was the best possible outcome from a dangerous incident. Larson’s 14-foot fishing boat capsized about 9 p.m. Memorial Day and to the relief of everyone involved he was found on shore the next morning after spending about nine hours in the chilly waters of Pelican Lake.

Larson was resting in a Brainerd hospital Wednesday and as summer  unofficially begins it’s worthwhile to reflect on how he survived his harrowing boat trip.

In short, Larson did everything right. First, he wore  his life jacket. That’s probably is the single most important factor in his survival. Second, he stayed by his boat. A boat not only can provide assistance in staying afloat, but also is a visible marker for rescuers.

We would recommend the story of Larson’s ordeal to any boat passenger who thinks he doesn’t need to bring along a life jacket on a short boat ride. A lot of people may think they’re pretty good swimmers, but can they stay afloat for nine hours in cold water?

A little bit of common sense by boaters will go a long way toward making this an enjoyable, safe summer.

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Sarah Nelson
Sarah Nelson joined the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2010 and works as a online reporter, content editor and staff writer. She is a world traveler, accused idealist and California native now braving the winters of Central Minnesota. She believes in the power of human resolve and hopes to be part of something that makes history by bringing an end to injustice in the world. Sarah has worked as a criminal background researcher, high school civics teacher, grant writer, and contributing writer with Causecast.org — tackling every issue from global poverty to bio-degradable bicycles. Her favorite thing about living in Minnesota is July. Sarah left the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2014.
(218) 855-5879
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