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Man dies in Aitkin County drowning

Officials say the man had been drinking when he fell off the edge of a boat into Elm Island Lake.

AITKIN COUNTY, Minn. — The Aitkin County Sherriff's Office says a man died after falling off a boat and drowning in Elm Island Lake Saturday.

First responders responded to a call on the north end of the lake around 4 p.m. Crews searched by boat to locate the man, who officials later identified as 25-year-old Daniel Thomas Nelson of Hopkins. His body was recovered from the water by the Crow Wing County Dive Team nearly four hours later. 

Aitkin County officials say Nelson was out fishing on the lake with a group of friends for around two hours. He had been drinking and was sitting on the edge of a boat when he suddenly fell into the water. He was not wearing a life jacket and "did not resurface," after falling in, according to officials. One of Nelson's friends attempted to rescue him, but "was unsuccessful in the murky water."

The preliminary postmortem investigation by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner found Nelson died from freshwater drowning. 

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