Body found on beach near Split Rock Lighthouse

A group of tourists, visiting to do some photography, discovered the body Saturday.

The body of a Twin Cities man washed up on a beach near Split Rock Lighthouse over the weekend.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office on Sunday identified the body as 45-year-old Derek Sigurd Hansen, who is from Minnetonka. 

His corpse was discovered around 7:17 a.m. Saturday on the beach by a group of tourists who were visiting to do some photography, Sheriff Carey Johnson told GoMN.

Hansen's body was found about 100 feet south of the light house.

Authorities believe Hansen drowned, but don't know much more beyond that – his death is still under investigation. Johnson did say the sheriff's office didn't have a report of him missing.

What the circumstances surrounding his death may have been beyond that, Johnson said the investigator is still working on that.

The lighthouse is one of the most iconic scenes in Minnesota, getting more than 150,000 visitors every year. The surrounding Split Rock Lighthouse State Park includes miles of trails for hiking or biking, as well as campgrounds, picnic areas, and beach areas along the shore.

Two other people died in the same area in September.

On Sept. 10, a 14-year-old from Wisconsin fell off a 300-foot cliff while peering over the edge. A couple of weeks later, a diver exploring the famous Maderia shipwreck in Lake Superior was pulled from the water after something went wrong.

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What led to the construction of the Split Rock Lighthouse?

On July 31, 1910, the Split Rock Lighthouse in Two Harbors opened on Minnesota's North Shore. Why was it built? A) To increase tourism north of Duluth. B) To serve as the perfect background subject for artists and photographers. C) As a response to a 1905 storm that sank dozens of ships on Lake Superior. For the answer, click on the headline above...

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