DULUTH, MN - A father and his young daughter pulled from the waters of Lake Superior Thursday have died.
The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office says an Osceola, Wis. man and his young daughter from Hudson, Wis. were swimming and found themselves in trouble, dragged away from shore by a suspected rip current.
On Friday, authorities identified them as 38-year-old Ryan Paul Fuglie and 10-year-old Lily Elizabeth Fuglie.
Rescue crews were initially dispatched around 4:30 p.m. to the 5500 block of the Minnesota Ave. on a call of two swimmers out in Lake Superior.
"We found a juvenile female who reported that her younger sister and her father had been taken out, it looks like by a rip current and hadn't been seen for about 10 minutes," explained Assistant Fire Chief Erik Simonson, who shared that the Duluth police, fire department, St. Louis County Rescue Squad, the U.S. Coast Guard and Gold Cross Ambulance all assisted in the search and rescue effort.
"It was really tough because the waves are about six, seven feet in cresting here," he said.
Five boats were out on the water working to recover the swimmers. With the magnitude of the waves even the fire department boat flipped during the rescue. After about an hour in the water rescue crews recovered the first swimmer, later identified as Lily. It took another 30 minutes before crews were able to recover her father.
Both were taken to Essentia St. Mary's as crews performed CPR. One rescue swimmer was also taken to the hospital after taking in a lot of water.
"Sixty to 90 minutes is a long time to be in the water," said Simonson, "but again you just never know but until I hear from the hospital. What happened when they got there I just wouldn't say."
The Duluth Fire Department issued a red flag warning for Park Point earlier that day, advising swimmers to stay out of the water.
Duluth's Park Point beach hadn't seen a drowning incident since 2003. According to the Fire Department and the Minnesota Sea Grant, that incident 14 years ago helped kick-start the flag warning system.