2 boaters severely injured by motor after hitting rock on Rainy Lake

Two men were severely injured by a boat motor after hitting a rock on Rainy Lake in northern Minnesota Thursday night, according to authorities

The Koochiching County Sheriff's Office said they received a 911 call at about 9:19 p.m. on Aug. 4, with the reporting party saying he and another man were severely injured boating near Franzen Island, adding the "motor came out of the water and injured them."

Another boater helped, towing the victims — a 32-year-old and 34-year-old, both of International Falls — and their boat to a home on County Road 134, where they were met by first responders, who began life-saving measures. 

The boat operator suffered "significant injuries" to his left arm and left leg, while the boat passenger suffered "significant injuries" to his right leg. They were taken by ambulance to the Rainy Lake Medical Center and then transported by helicopter to another hospital. 

The sheriff's office's preliminary investigation found the boat operator had hit a rock, causing the motor to land in the boat between the operator and passenger. The motor was still running, with the propeller causing significant injuries to the boaters. 

The incident remains under investigation, but authorities believe alcohol played a factor in the incident.