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Drowning on Leech Lake claims life of 65-year-old

Thursday's drowning is the third in the Brainerd lakes area in the last two weeks.

FSAdrowning

WALKER — A 65-year-old man died Thursday, Aug. 19, of an apparent drowning on Leech Lake.

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office received a report at 12:50 p.m. of a man struggling in the water near the Sand Point area of Leech Lake in rural Walker. The 911 caller saw the man in the water near a pontoon but as they got closer they could no longer see or locate the man in the water.

Deputies arrived, located the pontoon and immediately began searching the area. At 2:14 p.m., the body of a 65-year-old Oak Grove man was located in the water. The name of the victim is being withheld pending notification of family members. An autopsy is pending with the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Assisting with the search were the Leech Lake Tribal Police Department and the Conservation Officers from the Minnesota DNR.

This is the third apparent drowning in the Brainerd lakes area in the last two weeks. A 63-year-old man drowned Aug. 10 on Waukenabo Lake near Palisade and a 66-year-old man drowned Aug. 16 on Ruth Lake in Emily.

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Safety tips from the DNR

  • Life jackets on, all the time. Don’t just bring one, wear one. In Minnesota, 90% of boating fatality victims are not wearing a life jacket. By law, children under 10 years old must wear one while the boat is underway. Wearing a life jacket is the easiest step boaters of all ages can take to help ensure they get home safely.

  • Drinking and boating do not mix. Boating under the influence is illegal and is the single greatest factor in fatal boating accidents. Keep the alcohol on shore for the safety of friends, family and everyone on the water.

  • Check safety equipment. For those putting their boat in the water for the first time this season, it’s important to check all safety equipment. That includes making sure life jackets fit and are in good condition and checking navigation lights, sound-producing device, fire extinguisher and carbon monoxide detectors. Also remember to inspect – and use – the engine cut-off lanyard.

  • Own the wake. “Owning the wake” means understanding that all boats produce wakes, so all boaters need to be aware of the potential impacts of their wake. This includes impacts to others on the water, the shoreline, and equipment like docks and moored watercraft.

  • Know the rules. Make sure you know Minnesota’s boating laws and regulations can be found at dnr.state.mn.us/safety/boatwater/education .

(Source: Minnesota DNR)

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