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Morrison County man dead after water emergency in BWCAW

The man had fallen out of the boat without a life jacket on.

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A 51-year-old man from Morrison County, Minnesota, died on Memorial Day in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office deputies were dispatched to Trout Lake around 2:20 p.m. Monday after the man had fallen out of a boat, according to a news release from the Sheriff's Office. He was underwater for approximately two to three minutes. Despite lifesaving efforts by boaters and later, first responders, the man died on the scene. Authorities had not yet released the name of the man Tuesday morning.

Law enforcement was told that the victim was last seen fishing from a "pedestal-type chair" and that other passengers realized the victim, who was not wearing a life jacket, had fallen into the water when they heard a large splash.

The boat's passengers, as well as other boaters, were able to pull the man out of the water before first responders arrived.

"The Sheriff's Office would like to remind the boating population that despite warmer air temperatures, water temperatures are remaining quite cold," the news release said. "Therefore a personal floatation device is critical to aid in surviving any unfortunate water related incidents at this, or any time of the year."

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The Sheriff's Office and the Midwest Medical Examiners Office are investigating the incident. Tower Ambulance, Ely Ambulance, the U.S. Forest Service and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources assisted the Sheriff's Office.

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