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Two 23-year-olds die in separate boating incidents


Two 23-year-olds died in separate Minnesota boating incidents over the weekend.

Police are still investigating after the body of an Albany, Minnesota, man was recovered from a Sherburne County lake Saturday night, the St. Cloud Times reports.

Joshua Roepke was swimming in Lake Freemont in Zimmerman, roughly 40 miles northwest of Minneapolis, during a boat outing, the newspaper reports. But his companions lost sight of him at about 6 p.m., and they called for help. Roepke's body was found about two hours later in about 7 feet of water.

On Friday night, Brice Dale Bundy, of Ely, was killed in a boat accident on Lake Shagawa in northern Minnesota, the Mesabi Daily News reports.

Two others in the boat were injured: driver Nicholas Earl White, 27, and passenger, Matthew Grant Christopherson, 23, the newspaper reports. They told investigators that they were speeding along the water when they hit a rock near an island, and all three men were ejected from the boat.

The Duluth News Tribune reports the two injured men reached the island and eventually called from there, but the two did not call authorities until about 5:30 a.m. Saturday. They told officers that they had to wait until sunrise to find their cell phones, the Northland's News Center reported.

Investigators have not yet said whether alcohol was a factor in the incident.

There were 13 boating fatalities in Minnesota last year, down from 15 in 2012 and 16 in 2011, according to state statistics. There were 65 non-fatal boating accidents last year. An official tally of state boating fatalities thus far in 2014 was not immediately available.

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