5 duck hunters rescued after boat capsizes on MN lake


Five duck hunters had to be rescued when their boat capsized on a Minnesota lake Saturday – with the pilot arrested on suspicion of DWI.

The Rothsay Fire and Rescue was involved in the rescue on Christopherson Lake in Otter Tail County, posting on its Facebook page that nobody on the boat was wearing a life jacket, and that they were "lucky" to have made it out of the lake without injury.

According to KSTP, the 14-foot duck boat began taking on water, and tipped over about 400 yards from the shore.

One of the passengers – a 15-year-old boy – was able to swim to the shore to get help.

WDAY reports there were several duck hunters in the area at the time and one of them – a 24-year-old woman – grabbed some life jackets and swam out, handing the jackets to the crew as they clung on to the capsized boat.

The Rothsay Fire boat then made it out to pick them all up.

According to the custody log in Otter Tail County, Ronald Haugrud, 53, of Avon, has been charged with two counts of operating a motorboat under the influence of alcohol and two counts of third-degree driving while impaired.

"This is a real reminder to have life jackets along at all times," Rothsay Fire and Rescue said on Facebook. "A huge thank you to all that assisted us."

Saturday was the opener for duck and goose hunting across Minnesota, with the season lasting until Nov. 22 – Dec. 4, depending on where you live, according to the DNR.

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