A deadly weekend for Minnesotans seeking refuge from the heat wave in lakes, rivers


David Joles, Star Tribune

Swimmers flocked to Lake Nokomis has the heat soared in the Twin Cities last July. Water-related incidents claimed three lives and left one seriously injured across the state over the weekend.

It was a tragic and deadly weekend for some Minnesota families who sought refuge from the heat in lakes and rivers, as water-related incidents claimed three lives and left one seriously injured.

In separate incidents, from lakes in northern Minnesota to the St. Croix River near the Twin Cities, authorities have recovered the bodies of three men since Friday who drowned while recreating with friends and family. In Anoka County, a 2-year-old was airlifted to Children's Minnesota Hospital in Minneapolis on Saturday evening after being found unresponsive in a pond. Another man had to be resuscitated and flown to a hospital after he lost control while water skiing on a lake and suffered a serious blow to his head.

The rash of drownings and near-drownings come as thousands of Minnesotans have flocked to lakes, rivers and pools to escape the record-setting heat that has blanketed the state for much of the past two weeks. The tragedies have cast a shadow over what otherwise has been a celebratory return to normalcy after more than a year of COVID-19 restrictions. As coronavirus infections decline and vaccination rates rise, Minnesotans have been eager to return to public spaces and the summer rituals of fishing, swimming and exploring the outdoors.



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