Off-duty Mission firefighter helps rescue man

The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office responded to the call, reported at 11:01 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, on the 22000 block of Cottontail Drive.

Mission Fire truck

CUYUNA — An off-duty Mission Township firefighter working near Rabbit Lake Thursday, Sept. 22, helped rescue a man found floating in the water.

The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office responded to the call, reported at 11:01 a.m. on the 22000 block of Cottontail Drive near Cuyuna.

Working his landscaping job near Rabbit Lake, Mission Volunteer Fire and Rescue firefighter Jon Swensen said he heard splashing when a neighbor yelled that a man was in the water.

Swensen said he grabbed his binoculars and saw a man clinging to a cooler about 150 yards from shore.

Some of the neighbors got in their kayaks and attempted to bring the man to shore, Swensen said. A few yards from shore, the man started to slip and one of Swensen’s coworkers ran into the water and helped the victim to shore.


Swensen said he and another Mission firefighter on his work crew started treating the man for hypothermia once he was on shore and stripped him of his wet clothes before paramedics arrived and took over.

The sheriff’s office reports a capsized boat was found in the middle of the lake and it is believed the man was fishing. Authorities did not release the man’s name.

The man was transported to Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby.

Assisting at the scene were the Zone Four First Responders and CRMC Ambulance.

TIM SPEIER, staff writer, can be reached on Twitter @timmy2thyme , call 218-855-5859 or email .

Tim Speier joined the Brainerd Dispatch in October 2021, covering Public Safety.
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