With boating season upon us, authorities are urging people to exercise caution on the lakes following a sinking incident in northern Minnesota.
It happened Friday on Lake Marquette, which is about one mile southwest of Bemidji. According to a release from the Beltrami County sheriff, a canoe capsized on the lake shortly after 3:00 p.m., leaving the three people aboard in potentially serious trouble.
Thankfully, the trio made it back to shore safely, the sheriff says. The release points out that all three were wearing Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) — i.e. life jackets.
Nonetheless, they were transported to Sanford Emergency Department to be treated for hypothermia.
"This scenario ended well. Some unfortunately don’t. Cold water can kill," the release says, adding that while it's "extremely enticing to canoeist(s), kayakers and other boaters to get back out on the lakes" with the weather warming up, "many may need to get their sea legs again."
The sheriff's office goes on to note the potential hazards of recently iced-out lakes, including floating or partially submerged obstructions in "areas that didn’t have them prior."
"Logs and large tree limbs, and bog can be moved by the ice as it goes out causing these obstructions to shift."
Bottom line: "wear your PFD," the sheriff says.
The Minnesota DNR has a page dedicated to boat safety, which you can check out by clicking right here.