Authorities say three young men from Shakopee are lucky to be alive after their canoe capsized and sent them into cold water without lifejackets.
The Scott County Sheriff's Office says the water incident happened Sunday around 8:45 p.m. when a trio of men were canoeing on Pleasant Lake in Helena Township. A 911 caller reported hearing people yelling for help, prompting local residents to search the lake in canoes while first responders were en route.
Fortunately, all three men, ages 22, 22 and 23, were able to make it to shore on their own.
The trio told deputies that their canoe capsized before they were able to make to dry land without injuries. None of them wore a lifejacket and they became cold while swimming to shore, which led to one of them yelling for help.
“Whether or not you are able to swim, or consider yourself a strong swimmer, wearing a life jacket is essential,” said Sheriff Luke Hennen. “It's a simple decision that could save your life during a boating emergency.”
As of Nov. 30, 2018, the Minnesota DNR reports that there were 14 boating fatalities and 32 non-boating drownings in Minnesota last year. There were also 64 non-fatal boating accidents.