A 20-year-old Rice man drowned after the canoe he and another man were in overturned Saturday on Fawn Lake near Crosslake, the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department.
Timothy R. Maehren and Joshua A. Seehusen were making their first trip of the season onto the 73-acre lake, located just southwest of Crosslake, and were fishing for panfish when their canoe flipped, Sheriff's Sgt. Scott Goddard, Crow Wing County Sheriff's Boat and Water supervisor, said.
Seehusen was able to make it to shore and call for help. Maehren went under the water and did not surface, the sheriff's department reported.
Law enforcement was notified that Maehren was missing at 3:36 p.m. The Crow Wing County Dive Team located Maehren about 30 yards from shore in 17 feet of water.
Goddard said ice was off the lake but the water temperature was about 40 degrees.
Goddard said it wasn't immediately known why the canoe overturned but neither Maehren or Seehusen were wearing life jackets. One of the men's families had a seasonal home on the lake, Goddard said.
The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department is reminding the public that at this time of year water temperature is extremely cold - a person will lose body heat 25 times faster in water than by air.
"Just be careful, be cautious," Sheriff Todd Dahl said. "It doesn't take very long when you're in the water for you to get very cold and lose all control over your faculties."
The sheriff's department also urged people venturing onto lakes to wear a life jacket and to stay with the watercraft if it does capsize or overturn.
Goddard said the bow of the canoe Maehren and Seehusen were using was still out of the water when law enforcement arrived at Fawn Lake.
"It's a gamble to swim away from the watercraft," Goddard said. "You're better off to stay with it so you can keep afloat."
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.
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