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Man drowns in BWCA on Perent Lake

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a possible drowning Sunday, June 10 on Perent Lake, which is in northeast Lake County within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.  

The reporting party stated that a 31-year-old victim had been missing since 11 p.m. on June 9.  The victim had been in a canoe that capsized. He was not wearing a life jacket.  It was reported that the victim never made it to shore.  The other occupant of the canoe, who was also not wearing a life jacket, was able to swim to a rock where he was rescued by another camper who had heard someone yelling for help.

On Monday, June 11 at approximately 3:30 p.m., the body of Joseph Bennett Fedick, of Coon Rapids, Minn., was recovered from the water within a couple hundred yards of the reporting party’s campsite.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Lake County and St. Louis County search and rescue teams, Forest Service law enforcement and seaplane pilot, and Border Patrol all responded to assist in the search.

According to Ellen Bogardus-Szymaniak, the district ranger for the U.S. Forest Service on the Tofte Ranger District, the search and rescue team entered the BWCA at Hog Creek (Entry Point #36) and traveled to Perent Lake. Fedick's body was located and was taken to Ely to the medical examiner, according to Bogardus-Szymaniak.