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Dripping-wet Perham man walks half-mile home in stocking feet after sinking new pickup on lake's open water

OTTER TAIL COUNTY, Minn. - A 45-year-old Perham man was driving his 2011 Ford F-150 pickup on Little Pine Lake here Friday night before dense fog led him to sink it in open water.

Craig Swanson was using a GPS unit to navigate on the ice while driving from his fish house to a private access of County Highway 51, according to a release by the Otter Tail Sheriff's Office. Because of the fog, Swanson did not see open water where the Otter Tail River flows into the lake.

The vehicle sank in more than 10 feet of water, but Swanson, the truck's sole occupant, was able to get out of the vehicle and swim to the ice. He lost his boots while swimming and had to then walk a half-mile to his home on the north shore.

Besides suffering mild hypothermia, Swanson was otherwise uninjured and he refused medical attention.

The vehicle is still submerged in the lake, and plans to recover it are pending.