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Boreal Community Media

Colorado man drowns when storm capsizes canoe in BWCAW

Jul 21, 2021 06:43AM ● By Editor

A Colorado man has drowned after a severe storm moving through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota capsized his canoe, sheriff's officials said Tuesday. 

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office said multiple agencies responded to a report of a water emergency on Loon Lake Monday. Canoe Country Outfitters in Ely told dispatchers two people were thrown into the water in East Loon Bay when heavy rain and strong winds overturned their canoe. 

One person made it to shore while the other was missing. 

Denis Guenther, 65, of Grand Junction, Colorado swam to shore with their gear and while 73-year-old Wayne Morrow, of Fort Lupton, Colorado, stayed with the capsized canoe. Authorities say when Guenther returned to the canoe, Morrow was missing. 

Search efforts were conducted by the St. Louis County rescue squad. Morrow's body was found submerged in 61 feet of water, officials said. 

The incident is under investigation by the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office and Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office. 

Officials say the men had life jackets, but were not using them.

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