Iron Range man drowns trying to save dog

The 56-year-old died shortly after being pulled from the water.
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A man has drowned in a pit in Minnesota's Iron Range while trying to rescue his dog.

The tragedy happened around 6 p.m. Saturday at the Buhl Pit, at the end of State Street in Buhl, when 56-year-old Gary Paternoster noticed his dog was in trouble.

The dog was apparently caught on something in the pit, the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office said, and Paternoster, who lives in Buhl, swam out to free his pet.

Before he could reach his dog, however, Paternoster "sunk in the water."

He was pulled from the water by the St. Louis County Rescue Squad at 8 p.m. and still had a pulse, with responders taking him to Fairview Hospital in Hibbing.

Unfortunately he died a short time later.

The sheriff's office didn't say what happened to the dog. GoMN has asked for more details on the pet's condition and will update this post when we hear back.

Drownings in Minnesota

As of July 9, there had been 13 non-boating drownings in Minnesota in 2017, according to figures from the Minnesota DNR sent to GoMN.

This was down on 20 drownings reported during the same period in 2016.

PetMD says it's vital for pet owners to ensure their own safety before attempting to rescue a struggling dog from the water.

The best way to rescue them is to either try to hook them from the shore or by going out in a boat.

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