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Boater drowns on Elm Island Lake in Aitkin County

Daniel Thomas Nelson, 25, Hopkins, was fishing on Elm Island Lake when he fell overboard and never resurfaced.

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AITKIN — A 25-year-old Hopkins man drowned Saturday, Aug. 13, on Elm Island Lake in southwestern Aitkin County.

The Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office reported emergency dispatchers received a call of a man overboard on the lake 4 p.m. Saturday in Nordland Township, southeast of the city of Aitkin.

Deputies responded to the north end of Elm Island Lake and used boats to begin looking for the missing man.

The initial report was a group of friends were out fishing for about two hours. The victim was drinking and sitting on the edge of the boat when he suddenly fell into the water. The victim was not wearing a life jacket and did not resurface. One of the victim’s friends jumped into the water to attempt to locate the victim, but was unsuccessful in the murky water.

The Crow Wing County Dive/Rescue Team was contacted and responded to Elm Island Lake to assist with the search. Marine electronics were used to locate the victim. At 7:59 p.m., the Crow Wing County Dive Team recovered the body.

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The victim was identified as Daniel Thomas Nelson. Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s preliminary finding is Nelson died of freshwater drowning.

Aitkin County was also assisted by Aitkin County Search & Rescue, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, North Memorial Health Ambulance and South Aitkin First Responders.

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