Bodies of two men thrown from boat in Big Marine Lake recovered

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has recovered the bodies of two men thrown from a boat on Big Marine Lake in Scandia on Friday.

Just before 2 p.m. on Friday, April 29, Washington County responded to a 911 call after witnesses reported boaters in distress on the north side of the lake. Witnesses reported the boat, occupied by two men, 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 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 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.