A Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer is dead after an incident in Cross Lake Friday night.
According to the Pine County Sheriff’s Office, a call was received around 7:44 p.m. of a possible body in the water in Cross Lake, east of Pine City. Pine County deputies and Minnesota conservation officers responded to the area, but were not able to determine what the object in the water was from the shore.
According to a news release, the conservation officer got his boat and he and a deputy launched it into Cross Lake. Within minutes of leaving the launch, both officers were thrown from the boat and into the water.
Additional deputies procured a rowboat from a neighboring property and were able to reach the Pine County deputy and pull him aboard, but the conservation officer slipped under the water before they were able to reach him, a news release said. His body was recovered at about 1:35 a.m. Saturday.
The Pine County deputy was transported to Firstlight Hospital in Mora where he was treated for temperature-related injuries.
In a statement from Gov. Tim Walz’s office Saturday afternoon, the conservation officer was identified as Eugene Wynn.
“As a first responder, peace officer, and protector of Minnesota’s natural resources, Officer Eugene Wynn dedicated his life to keeping Minnesotans safe and making our state a better place to live,” Walz said. “Gwen and I send our deepest sympathies to his family and on behalf of the State of Minnesota, we thank him for his many years of selfless service.”
According to a news release, efforts were made to attempt to locate the object that was initially reported, without success.
The cause of the incident is under investigation by the Pine County Sheriff’s Office.