McGREGOR — A 34-year-old North Branch man was killed in a boating incident Friday, June 11, on Big Sandy Lake near Hillcrest Resort, just north of McGregor.
The Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call at 11:40 p.m. of a man overboard on Big Sandy Lake. McGregor Fire Department and Aitkin County deputies responded with boats.
Deputies launched onto Big Sandy Lake and made contact with a group of men on a Misty Harbor pontoon boat. The men on the boat told deputies that their friend, Nathen Norman Waldo, had fallen off the front of the pontoon boat as the boat was moving forward. Witnesses said Waldo was swept underneath the boat as it continued forward and they believed Waldo was struck by the motor, the sheriff’s office reported.
Extensive attempts were made to search the water in the area the witnesses indicated they’d been. Deputies and fire department responders also searched the shoreline. They were unsuccessful in locating the missing man. The next day, the St. Louis County Search and Rescue joined the search and Waldo's body was recovered in 30 feet of water late Saturday afternoon.
A 34-year-old Maplewood man was arrested for operating a boat while intoxicated and is being held in the Aitkin County Jail. The Aitkin County Attorney's Office will review the case to determine whether there is probable cause to charge the man with criminal vehicular operation, the sheriff’s office reported.
The St. Louis County Search and Rescue assisted in locating the body.