Western Minnesota Boater Drowns Trying to Rescue Dog

Over the weekend, a man from western Minnesota perished while attempting to collect his dog, which had leapt off a boat and into an Otter Tail County lake.

Shortly after 1 p.m. Saturday, the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office got a complaint of a probable drowning on South Lida Lake, east of Pelican Rapids.

Eric Fife, 48, of Pelican Rapids, was sailing with friends when he into the water to collect his dog after it leapt into the lake, according to investigators.

According to the sheriff’s office, his buddies saw Fife was in danger and fighting to remain afloat seconds later. Fife and his dog were dragged back to the boat by a buddy who entered the water, and his boating mates began lifesaving measures.

Until emergency responders came at a nearby lake access and relieved them, the pals continued to do CPR. Attempts to resuscitate Fife were unsuccessful, and he died on the spot.

The incident is still being investigated, according to the sheriff’s office.

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