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Minnesota couple die on fly-fishing trip in Iceland

The couple drowned when one fell into deep water, and the other tried to help.
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A couple from La Crescent, Minnesota have died after getting into difficulty in deep water on a fly-fishing trip in Iceland.

The family of Janet Veit and Brian Schumacher confirmed that the couple, who were avid fly-fishers, drowned on Sunday on the Scandinavian island.

There are conflicting reports about what happened, with Patrice Veit saying on Facebook the U.S. Embassy told them her sister fell into the cold water while fishing and her husband jumped in to help.

But she later told the Star Tribune that it may have been the other way around, that Schumacher walked into deep, moving water and got into trouble, with his wife jumping in to help him.

They were both swept away, and when they were pulled from the water could not be resuscitated.

"In a world of wonderful people, Janet and Brian were pretty near the top," Patrice Veit wrote in her announcement.

"They loved their families, their friends, their colleagues, their dogs and cats, and most importantly, each other. Please keep them in your hearts today and in the future. Be kind to those you meet, as they would. Peace to you all."

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Veit was a veterinarian at Hillside Animal Hospital and Schumacher was a lab technician at the Gundersen Health System. They were both 48.

Veit, a native of North Dakota, was a graduate of the University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine, the La Crosse Tribune reports

And Schumacher was also a guide for Driftless Fly Fishing in Preston, Minnesota, which paid tribute to the couple on Monday.

"In the very short time I knew them we had some great times," owner Mel Hayner wrote. "These were some extraordinary people who touched my life in many ways. I will miss them always.

"They left this world together as they were in life. Every one who was part of The Driftless Fly Shop grieves this tremendous loss together and remembers the joy of knowing them."

There have been no funeral arrangements announced as of yet, with their families working with the U.S. Embassy in Iceland about the return of their bodies.

The Star Tribune notes that the pair were fishing in Villingavatn, near the deep Lake Pingvallavatn in southwestern Iceland.

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