Drowning victims double over last yearSubmitted by Beth George on July 6, 2012 - 10:56am
The importance of water safety has reached a peak for Minnesota. Non-boat drownings in Minnesota are already double in 2012 than in 2011. Itasca County lost a resident to non-boat drowning July 4. James Gleason, 67, of Nashwauk died that afternoon on Bray Lake north of Nashwauk. Gleason was in the process of swimming out to the neighbor’s raft to visit friends. At about 20 yards from the raft he became motionless and was floating in the water. Witnesses yelled for help and pulled him into a boat. Gleason was taken to shore where CPR was performed until responders took over. He was pronounced dead at Hibbing hospital.
Non-boat drowning situations include lakes, rivers and pools. The state includes the February death of the 20-month-old that died in a Grand Rapids hotel hot tub in those statistics. Four of the 23 deaths reported as of last week were hot tub deaths. The statistics come from the Boat and Water Safety division of the DNR.
Boating fatalities have also exceeded 2011 numbers following the local death during the Monday storm. Roy Flug, 49, of rural Goodland was pulled from Swan Lake after he drowned when his boat capsized in the storm. Flug was not wearing a life jacked and was not able to make it to shore. Another man in the boat did swim to safety.