76-year-old dies after pontoon boat flips over in west-central MN


A 76-year-old man is dead after a boating trip in west-central Minnesota turned to tragedy Friday morning.

According to the Kandiyohi Sheriff's Office, Philip Leo Thissen, of Clara City, Minnesota, was with two other people aboard a 14-foot pontoon boat on Golden Pond – a small lake near Sunburg – when the craft tipped over and submerged them.

While his two boating partners, also in their 70s and described by WCCO as Thissen's friends, were unharmed, Thissen was trapped under the boat and never came up.

According to the West Central Tribune, a passing truck driver noticed the overturned craft from the road and alerted authorities, who quickly responded but were too late.

The sheriff says divers were able to retrieve the man but he was already deceased, having been underwater for 20 minutes by the time he was pulled up.

Several emergency services arrived on the scene, including the Sunburg Fire Department, the State Patrol and officials from the Minnesota DNR.

The incident remains under investigation.

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