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Sheriff: 71-year-old man likely saved 3 hunters from death

Their boat capsized while hunting on Crow Wing County lake.

The trio of hunters saved on Camp Lake in Crow Wing County last Friday could've died if not for the help of a man who saw them in distress, according to Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl. 

Dahl says 71-year-old John Pufahl was in his lake home drinking coffee when he saw something shiny across the lake that morning.

What he saw was a hunting boat that had capsized, putting the lives of three men aboard in danger. 

One of the men called 911 for help at 8:18 a.m. – by the time deputies arrived on scene at 8:39 a.m., all three hunters and their dogs were out of the water and on Pufahl's pontoon. 

The hunters were treated for possible hypothermia, but Pufahl likely saved their lives, Dahl said. 

"This time of year with the cold water, the body only has minutes until it loses the use of arms and legs. The hunters in this case probably would not have lived if it weren’t for the quick action of the lake resident."

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One of the three hunters was Chief Deputy Jason Worlie of the Morrison County Sheriff's Department, who confirmed to Bring Me The News that he is ok after the incident.

It's unclear how long the men were in the water before they were rescued, but Dahl notes one of the hunters attempted to swim to shore while the other two waited at the site of the capsized boat. 

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