3 canoeists rescued after taking shelter on small island near Ely

Their canoes capsized on Snowbank Lake during bad weather.
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Three canoeists are safe after being rescued following a canoe accident on a northern Minnesota lake. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the incident happened Saturday, Oct. 20 when three people were went into the cold water of Snowbank Lake near Ely, Minnesota.

Their canoes had capsized, but fortunately, they were able to get to a small island on the lake, take shelter and call 911. 

Border patrol agents launched a boat and found them a short time later, providing them with cold-weather safety gear to keep them warm. Hypothermia was a concern due to inclement weather at the time. 

The three canoeists were taken back to shore where they were treated further by Ely Emergency Medical Services and St. Louis County Search & Rescue. 

The agents then went back to the area where the trio went in the water and retrieved the canoes and other gear they'd left behind. 

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"Due to their experience and knowledge of the vast wilderness, agents routinely find themselves assisting in rescue operations," said Border Patrol Agent Erich Rohr.

People whose find themselves in water during cold conditions are at particular risk of hypothermia, seeing as wet clothing causes you to lose body heat faster.

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