Two Minnesota duck hunters likely are alive today as a result of good choices they made before and after falling into cold water. In both situations – one in Crow Wing County on Oct. 3, the other in Itasca County on Oct. 11 – hunters found themselves in life-or-death struggles after their duck boats capsized.
The close calls come amid a year in which 15 people to date have died in boating accidents, the highest number in more than a decade. While most boating-related accidents are in the summer, a higher percentage of fatal boating accidents are during the cold water season.
DNR safety officials say anyone who boats during the cold-water season should wear a life jacket, file a float plan so other people know where they’re going and when they plan to return, carry a communications device to call for help, and understand how they can increase their odds of surviving a fall into cold water.