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Rescue crews searching for boy in Boundary Waters

Several public safety agencies responded Tuesday to a water rescue call at Basswood Falls on the Minnesota-Ontario border.

Lake County Sheriff Carey Johnson told the News Tribune that three people in a canoe went over the falls — about a 25- to 30-foot drop — just after 1 p.m. Basswood Falls is in a remote area where Basswood Lake empties into the Basswood River and into Crooked Lake.

As of 7:15 p.m., the Minnesota State Patrol’s helicopter from the Twin Cities was about 10 minutes from reaching the boy in the canoe who had his foot stuck in rocks under the water, according to Johnson. The boy was freed from the rocks at about 5:10 p.m., Johnson said, adding that the helicopter would fly the boy via basket to the U.S. Forest Service’s Beaver plane, and the boy would then travel to the Ely seaplane base and be transported to the Ely Hospital. The boy had possible ankle fractures and was hypothermic.

The two other people in the canoe were OK, Johnson said.

Rescue crews flew as far as possible into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in a U.S. Forest Service float plane. They then continued on to the rescue site by canoe, Johnson said.

The St. Louis County Rescue Squad and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources assisted in the rescue.

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