Man drowns Sunday in MinnesotaA man drowned Sunday afternoon while swimming with friends at the confluence of the Red Lake and Clearwater rivers near Red Lake Falls, Minn.
By: By Archie Ingersoll , Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
A man drowned Sunday afternoon while swimming with friends at the confluence of the Red Lake and Clearwater rivers near Red Lake Falls, Minn.
The drowning “appears to revolve around alcohol and a lack of knowledge of the area where they were swimming at,” said Chief Deputy Brad Johnson of the Red Lake County Sheriff’s Department.
Nathan Roy Gilbert, 22, and his friends were swimming just offshore from where the rivers converge, not far from a boat ramp in Sportsman’s Park. Gilbert was in a shallow, slow-moving part of the confluence but eventually found himself in deeper, swifter waters a few feet away, Johnson said.
“One friend went after him and tried to grab him and pull him in but couldn’t keep a hold of him because of the current,” he said.
Johnson said the area is not a designated swimming area, nor a popular one.
“It’s where two rivers meet, so the current is strong,” he said.
Gilbert’s friends told deputies he went underwater at about 4 p.m. The sheriff’s department received a 911 call at 4:12 p.m. about a possible drowning near the park, and deputies, paramedics and firefighters were dispatched to the scene.
Two boat crews of firefighters searched for Gilbert’s body, and using draglines, they recovered it at 4:55 p.m. His body was found in roughly 10 feet of water in the Red Lake River about 5 feet from where he was last seen, authorities said.
Gilbert, of Warroad, Minn., was pronounced dead at the scene. His body was taken to UND’s forensic pathology lab in Grand Forks for an autopsy. Foul play is not suspected.
Johnson advises swimmers not to fight river currents.
“You have to just let it take you and then swim in toward shore,” he said.
Archie Ingersoll is a reporter at The Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.