Video: Rescuers save 8 in Boy Scout canoe group in Boundary Waters


Five children and three adults were rescued after their canoes capsized and they went into the chilly waters of Basswood Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, WDIO reports.

The eight were treated at an Ely-area hospital and released Thursday night after being monitored for hypothermia. Six of the eight had been airlifted to the hospital by seaplane, WDIO reports.

FOX 9 reports the group was part of a Boy Scout troop. Officials declined to say where the boys were from.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety released 7 minutes of raw video of the rescues (above).

Officials offered more details about the dramatic rescue at a Friday news conference. All eight were in the water at some point during their ordeal and all eight had life jackets. “Without those, we probably would’ve had a very different outcome” Justin Mayne, a captain with the Lake County Rescue Squad, said.

The party was reported missing at about 4:20 p.m. Both canoes carrying the group had capsized. Rescuers reported windy, rainy weather and choppy water Thursday. Winds were gusting up to 30 mph and temperatures were in the 40s, the Duluth News Tribune reported.

Rescuers first found three in the missing party about a half hour into the search, near Canadian Point, which is about 90 minutes from a staging area searchers had established at LaTourell's Resort on Moose Lake, WDIO reports.

Roughly another half hour later, a search crew found the other five canoeists north of Washington Island.

"We'd like to thank all of the assisting agencies, without them this rescue wouldn't have been possible," search dispatcher Thela Fitzgerald told Northland's News Center.

The agencies included the Minnesota State Patrol, which sent a helicopter that was key in the rescue, U.S. Force Service, the Department of Natural Resources, the St. Louis County Rescue Squad and the Ontario Provincial Police, the news outlet reports.

Rescue agencies somewhat routinely respond to reports of lost trekkers and canoeists. One dramatic rescue story unfolded two years ago when an Albert Lea man set out by himself on fog-enshrouded waters to find help for his friend, who had suffered a stroke.

Each year, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (map), with 1,500 miles of canoe routes, draws more than 250,000 visitors, according to the Friends of the Boundary Waters.

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Rescue in the wilderness: Man saves friend in Boundary Waters

Scott Pirsig and Bob Sturtz are 50-something pals who set off on a getaway in the woods of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. But the trip took a dark turn when Sturtz had a stroke and Pirsig made the wrenching decision to leave his friend and go for help. The Albert Lea Tribune has the story about a dramatic rescue – and friendship.