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Man found dead after canoe capsizes in BWCAW


A 75-year-old man was found dead Tuesday evening after his canoe capsized on Sawbill Lake near the portage to Kelso Lake, about 25 miles north of Tofte in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Niles Richard Schulz of Minneapolis, who was camping with two adults and two children, was paddling his canoe on the lake when the rest of his party heard a splash and saw him trying to right the tipped over canoe, according to Cook County. Schulz, who wasn’t wearing a life jacket, was unsuccessful in righting the canoe and then went under the water. Others were unsuccessful in locating him in the water and another member of the party paddled out to call 911 from Sawbill Canoe Outfitters. His body was located in the water by first responders at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and transported to North Shore Health Hospital in Grand Marais, according to the county. An autopsy will be completed to confirm cause of death, according to the county.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office and Search and Rescue responded and assistance from the U.S. Forest Service Beaver Aircraft was requested, as well as permission for responders to use a motorized boat to access the area in the BWCAW. A Minnesota conservation officer, 1854 Treaty Authority law enforcement and Cook County's emergency chaplain also responded.