Would-be rescuer and victim drown in Lake Superior at north shore resort


A man who jumped into Lake Superior in an effort to make a rescue drowned on Tuesday, along with the man he was trying to save, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

The incident occurred near the Bluefin Bay Resort near Tofte shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, according to the Cook County Sheriff's Office.

Evan Alexander Johnson, 40, of Menomonie, Wis., had jumped into the lake after being in a hot tub on shore. He was in distress in the water, and Wayne Louis Hoffman, 66, of Spring Green, Wis., attempted to rescue him.

Hoffman was swept into the lake by a large wave and did not reappear. According to the News Tribune, waves on the lake were 4 to 6 feet at the time, and the water was 37 degrees.

Johnson was able to make it to shore. He was taken to a local hospital where he later died.

The U.S. Coast Guard issued a statement saying it sent an ice rescue team from Duluth to search for Hoffman, with assistance from a Royal Canadian Air Force C-130 aircraft, which launched flares to help illuminate the search area.

Hoffman's body was found about 10 p.m., according to the Coast Guard, about a half mile away from where he entered the water and approximately 400 yards off shore.

BringMeTheNews' Rick Kupchella is in the area and saw the search planes dropping flares. The planes are visible near the center of the image below:

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