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Clearwater County: Duck hunters OK after kayak capsizes

Times Report
Crookston Times

    Two duck-hunters on Upper Rice Lake in Clearwater County on Tuesday, Oct. 13 survived after one of their kayaks capsized. In a release, Clearwater County Sheriff Darin Halverson indicates that one of the men was able to swim to shore, and his hunting partner survived after clinging to a bag of duck decoys for around an hour in the water.

    The 911 call came in around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday regarding someone falling into the lake. The call was disconnected due to poor network availability in the area. Dispatch was able to make contact again, but the reception continued to be poor. Dispatch was able to determine that the call originated from Upper Rice Lake, in the area of Minerva and Bear Creek townships.

    Deputies and Bagley Sanford Ambulance responded. After searching along the shore, voices were heard yelling from somewhere on the lake. A canoe was subsequently located near shore and a deputy and EMT began paddling toward the voices.

    At that point another 911 call came in from a male saying he had made it to shore. He said he’d tried to help his partner back to shore but was not successful. Deputies located the male, who reported that he and another male had been duck hunting in kayaks and and his partner had tipped over. The male that made it to shore indicated that he left a bag of duck decoys for his partner to cling to. The deputy and EMT who paddled out subsequently found the hunter, still clinging to the bag of decoys. Using a sheriff’s office boat and an inflatable raft from the fire department, the hunter was brought to shore.

    The male who was rescued from the water was evaluated at Sanford Bagley Medical Center and released.

    Sanford Life Flight assisted as well, as did the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

    Halverson thanked in the release everyone for their efforts in the successful rescue.