2 men thrown from boat on Big Marine Lake identified

Two men were thrown from a boat on Big Marine Lake in Scandia on Friday afternoon. They have now been identified.  (FOX 9)

The two men who were ejected from a boat and died in Big Marine Lake in Scandia have been identified. 

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the men from Friday’s boating incident as Richard Thomas Gannon, 45, of Centerville, and Tony Randall Boyce, 55, of Hugo. 

The cause of their deaths remains under investigation, officials said Monday.

The men were boating on Big Marine Lake on Friday afternoon, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said. Witnesses reported the boaters in distress on the north side of the lake, noting the boat lost control shortly after departing the landing and the men were ejected. 

Bystanders heard the two boaters calling for help and took their boats out to assist, but the men could not be located, the sheriff’s office said. 

The Washington County rescue dive team and water recovery team, along with rescue partners from the Minnesota DNR and the Minnesota State Patrol, conducted an extensive search of the area and located the body of one man shortly after 7 p.m. Friday. The team found the second body around 4 p.m. on Saturday. 

The Minnesota DNR continues to warn boaters and paddlers that cold water is dangerous and unexpected falls can turn tragic quickly. Each year, about 30 percent of fatal boating accidents happen during the "cold-water period," according to the DNR. 

As boaters and paddlers take their first trips of the year onto the water, the DNR says enthusiasts should:

  • Ensure their boat is registered and equipped with proper safety equipment, and that all pieces are functioning properly.
  • Wear a life jacket
  • Distribute weight evenly and abide by the manufacturer’s weight limits to reduce the likelihood of falling overboard
  • Have a means of communication and let other people know where they’re going and when they plan to return
  • Watch the weather to avoid shifting winds or storms.