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5 anglers rescued after boat sinks in central MN lake

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Five people had to be rescued from a central Minnesota lake after their boat sunk early Sunday morning.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office responded to Lake Carlos around 12:17 a.m. to rescue the anglers from the boat that was underwater near the mouth of the Long Prairie River, a news release says.

Sheriff's deputies contacted Patrick Waldorf, who lives on the lake, and he and the two deputies used Waldorf's boat to get to the anglers.

The anglers were standing on a homemade platform on the bow of the 14-foot boat until they were rescued, but were still in about three feet of water, the sheriff's office says.

All five of them were checked out by first responders, and were fine except for being wet and cold.

The incident is still under investigation, but the sheriff's office says the boaters were bow-fishing when the driver of the boat slowed the throttle, causing the bow of the boat to dip and take on water.

The boat sunk in about five feet of water, the release says.

The sheriff's office says there were no personal flotation devices on the boat at the time it sunk.

Minnesota state law requires that a wearable life jacket is "readily accessible" for each person on board a boat, including canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and waterfowl boats, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource's 2016 boating guide. And children under 10 must always wear a life jacket if the boat is underway.

The DNR has urged boaters this spring to wear life jackets because of cold water temperatures, with the agency noting that 30 percent of boating deaths happen in cold water – and nearly all of them could be prevented if the victims were wearing a life jacket.

There were 14 boating deaths in 2014, the DNR's website shows. A life jacket was known to be worn by only one of the 14 victims.

For more boating safety tips, visit the DNR's website here.

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