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Photo courtesy Beltrami County Sheriff's Department

4 duck hunters rescued from capsized raft in Beltrami County

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outdoors Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

At approximately 6:39 PM, on Monday, October 22, 2012, the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office was notified that a boat carrying four duck hunters had capsized about 200 yards from shore near Woodhaven Resort on Three Island Lake in Port Hope Township. Immediate efforts by resort owner Bernie Fennell and bystander Michael Steele were made to launch a boat and go to the aid of the hunters. Beltrami County Deputies, Bemidji Fire personnel, Minnesota State Patrol, First responders, Bemidji Ambulance Service, and Blackduck Ambulance Service responded to the scene.

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The four duck hunters identified as Mitchell James Kohler, 19 of Wyoming, MN; Collin Kerry Johnson, 19, of Forest Lake, MN; Chase Daniel Chamberlain, 19, of Forest Lake, MN; Hunter William Smith, 18, of Stacy, MN were floundering in the water near their boat in 10 to 12 feet of water.

According to witnesses at the scene, the hunters had PFDs but were not wearing them at the time of the accident. Rescue crews made their way out to the hunters and plucked them from the frigid water and safely brought them to shore. EMS personnel treated the four hunters for exposure. All are expected to fully recover.

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