Canoe drops 25 feet over Basswood Falls in BWCA, trapping boy

Three people in a canoe cascaded over Basswood Falls in the Boundary Waters on Tuesday, trapping a boy’s foot in the rocks under water. Lake County Sheriff Carey Johnson told the Duluth News Tribune that the trio dropped about 25 to 30 feet just after 1 p.m. at the Minnesota-Ontario border, where Basswood Lake empties into the Basswood River and Crooked Lake.

A Minnesota State Patrol helicopter was called in from the Twin Cities and reached the boy after 7 p.m. He was freed from the rocks at about 5:10 p.m. and flown via basket to the U.S. Forest Service’s Beaver plane, and he then traveled to the Ely seaplane base and then the Ely Hospital.

The boy was hypothermic and possibly had ankle fractures. Johnson said the other two people in the canoe were okay.


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