LAKE CITY, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — A 50-year-old Lake City man has drowned in Lake Pepin after he tried to rescue his Irish Setter, but was knocked out by an electrical shock.

The Post-Bulletin of Rochester reports the Goodhue County sheriff’s office received the call about noon Saturday. It happened on the north side of Lake City.

Sheriff’s officials say friends and family got Brian Eugene Harwick out of the water and tried to resuscitate him, but he died at Mayo Clinic Health System’s hospital in Lake City.

“I suppose he seen his dog in trouble and didn’t think twice about what was happening,” said Randy Gerber, a friend and neighbor of Harwick’s.

Harwick was at a family home on the lake when his dog ran into the water and swam over a boat lift and received an electric shock. The dog began to sink.

Harwick then went into the lake, was shocked himself and went unconscious.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (18)
  1. Trev says:

    Did the dog make it or not?

    1. Bud Horwath says:

      Why is having a boat lift that is issuing electric shocks to anyone in the water near it not a hazard? An ungrounded boat lift should have the power turned off when not in use. Just sitting in the water not being used? Has the owner of said lift been cited?

  2. Callie's Mom says:

    Thank you Paul!

  3. tunnyh says:


    Well said, thank you from the owner of two “Lassie” breed collies.

  4. Sue Velure says:

    I’m sure he meant no disrespect to the man who died attempting to save his dog. I’m sure he was curious, as was I, if the dog had made it. I know if that happened to my dog I would have probably jumped in the water to save him too…..

  5. Dogs are wonderful pets says:

    Dogs of war,
    Let’s not be too hard on the gentlemen who said those things about the dog. Even if he was from another country telling him to turn in his visa and head home is uncalled for. There are many people out there who do not care for any sort of pet and many would have a hard time understanding what the big deal is to give your life for a dog. I myself am a dog lover and can appreciate the sacrifice this man made for his dog. As for the dog I can venture to guess that this man’s dog did not survive and in fact died the same way he died which was by electric shock. As for our military we have used military animals in all wars and they have been our military men and woman life savers. Dogs form a special bond with it’s owner and this is true whether the owner is a soldier, police officer or a disabled person who must rely on a service to improve their quality of life. Service dogs are trained to help the blind, the deaf and have helped disabled persons who struggle with migraines.So Mundaya Patal, dogs do indeed serve a very useful purpose so much so that this man gave his life to save his dog.

  6. Semi Pro Bass Fisherman says:

    Too many idiots wire electricity to their boat lifts and docks without any knowledge on how to properly insulate and install. Shorted wiring. Doubt an electrician performed the install. If the owner of the boat lift cannot come up with a permit, he is in a lot of trouble. I’ve been zapped on docks numerous times at all the big name lakes; Lake Minnetonka, Gull, Mille Lacs, Leech, Lake of the Woods. They want to light up their docks and use power equipment to clean or repair.

  7. Potts says:

    Sad for the family, may the dog and man Rest In Peace. May they walk together for eternity………

  8. Mitchell Peterson says:

    That right Paul, I would have went after my dog too

  9. MLL says:

    I absolutely would have jumped into the water to save my dog as well. My dog is a member of my family and loves us unconditionally. It’s terrible and tragic that the man died to save his dog. That is true love. Rest in peace.

  10. spayurdog says:

    Amazingly, the dog did survive. My condolences to family and friends of Brian Harwick.

  11. Dogs are damn near humans says:

    No doubt about it I could not sit on shore and watch my dog drowned. I would have done the same thing. I feel for his family.

  12. Richard Anderson says:

    How does a boat lift shock someone? Should something this dangerous be allowed in the water? It should be outlawed. Will the owner be charged AND sued for wrongful death or murder?

    1. Mark says:

      Improper wiring, not grounded. That could have been someone’s child getting shocked. The boat lift owner definitely deserves charges.

  13. Violet Bibeau says:

    Why is this possible, to get shocked by a boat lift? I didn’t know this could happen? Is this a common problem??

  14. Barbara Sperry says:

    I am Brian Harwicks’ girlfriend of 22 years and would like to say first of all,our dog, Maggie May, did in fact survive. Also contrary to many reports that I have read, she is a Golden Retriever. As far as the boatlift, the electricity had just been turned on the day before, because it had been shut off due to flooding. I have not yet received the official report. Thank you to all who have posted your sympathy

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