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Mother and son rescued after canoe capsizes on Leech Lake

Deputies learned that a 56-year-old woman from Monticello and her 28-year-old son from Minneapolis had paddled out around 8:30 a.m. and failed to return.
Credit: St. Paul Fire Dept.
The State Patrol helicopter and its crew helped find two missing canoeists on Leechh Lake and return them to safety.

WALKER, Minn. — A mother and her adult are safe after being rescued from a remote part of Leech Lake hours after their canoe collapsed. 

Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch says dispatchers received a report just before 3 p.m. Monday of two canoeists who were overdue at a resort in the area of Pine Point. Deputies learned that a 56-year-old woman from Monticello and her 28-year-old son from Minneapolis had paddled out around 8:30 a.m. and failed to return.

Deputies and resort employees began searching the big lake, and the Minnesota State Patrol helicopter was called in. Around 7:15 p.m. a canoe was spotted on the north shore of Leech Lake near Hardwood Point, and a short time later the helicopter located the missing mother and son in an extremely remote wooded area. The two told first responders they had capsized, then floated in the water with the canoe for hours, eventually ending up on shore. 

The canoeists were taken back to the resort, where they were treated by an ambulance crew for exposure. 

Sheriff Burch says the positive outcome to this story is largely due to both paddlers wearing life vests, and cooperation by all the law enforcement agencies working on the search and rescue.