The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office is reminding people of water dangers after one person drowned and three others were injured in water-related incidents in Minneapolis earlier this week.
The sheriff's office has confirmed that one of the two people pulled from Bde Maka Ska in Minneapolis on Tuesday later died.
The man was pulled to shore at Thomas Beach Tuesday evening by Minneapolis fire crews along with another man, who was treated and released.
The same day, bystanders pulled a man from Lake Nokomis – he is in stable condition at the hospital.
The next day, Wednesday, June 17, a woman was pulled from the water at Minnehaha Falls and is currently in stable but critical condition at the hospital.
All three incidents are under investigation, the sheriff's office says.
“We send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the woman who lost her life, and our thoughts are with the two other victims who remain hospitalized,” Sheriff David Hutchinson said in a news release.
This has prompted the sheriff's office to remind people to use precautions when they're swimming, especially since there are fewer lifeguards on duty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We understand the desire to get out on the water during the summer months, but it is critical for people to understand that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most beaches are not staffed by professional lifeguards. We urge everyone to study basic water safety techniques, especially those who are not strong swimmers or have not had formal swimming training," Hutchinson said.
As of June 14, there have been six non-boating drownings and five boating fatalities on Minnesota waters this summer, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Last year, there were 35 non-boating drownings and 10 boating fatalities in Minnesota.
Water safety tips
Here are some tips to stay safe around the water this summer, according to the sheriff's office:
- Make sure you're actively supervising children and other swimmers when they're near the water. In 70 percent of cases where a child has drowned, one or both parents were nearby.
- Even when lifeguards are on duty, parental supervision is needed to watch your swimmers to keep them safe.
- Adult swimmers should keep an eye on each other, especially in open water like lakes and rivers.
- Those who aren't strong swimmers should wear life jackets – water wings and inflatable devices are not enough, especially for children.
- Teach yourself and your children how to swim. There are local programs for low-income families. Reach more about them here.
- Keep safety equipment near pools.
Additional water safety tips can be found on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website here.
Correction: A previous version of this story stated a woman was pulled from the lake and later died. The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office has since corrected its initial news release stating it was a man who was pulled from the lake and later died.