BATTLE LAKE, Minn. — A North Dakota man was able to help pull a teen to safety and prevent a possible drowning Sunday, July 25, along Otter Tail Lake.
Police responded to a near drowning near Zorbaz restaurant at a bridge Otter Tail County Highway 72 dam, according to a news release from the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office.
Cooper Hinrichs, 34, of Lidgerwood, N.D., was on a dock when he saw a 14-year-old girl who was swimming get sucked under the water at a dam bypass. A 15-year-old boy went to help her and was also sucked into the bypass.
The girl was pushed out by the water, but the boy was stuck and couldn't keep his head above water. Hinrichs, who'd seen this all, was able to pull the boy out of the bypass, likely saving his life. The two teenagers suffered minor scrapes and bruises. The teens were not identified by the sheriff's office but the girl was from California and the boy was from Minnesota.
The Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office asked the public not to swim by dams and spillways and to use extreme caution when on or in the water due to low water levels. The Otter Tail Water Patrol, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Battle Lake Police Department and Battle Lake Fire and Rescue also responded to the near drowning.