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Forest Lake Couple Drowns In BWCA Canoe Accident

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A couple from Forest Lake died on Sunday after the canoe they were in capsized in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities say the accident happened at about 12:40 p.m. Sunday on Alton Lake, which is north of the city of Tofte in the BWCA. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a capsized canoe and two bodies floating in the water and responded to the scene immediately.

Authorities said two passing canoeists saw the bodies in the water and reported the incident to Sawbill Outfitters, an emergency response team in the area. The bodies were later recovered and sent to medical personnel for identification.

They were identified as 55-year-old Thomas Pineault and 51-year-old Cynthia Pineault, both of Forest Lake. Authorities said they believed their bodies had been in the water for at least 24 hours when they were found.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office said both victims were wearing life jackets and no foul play is suspected. Authorities said the area of the BWCA where the accident happened was subject to high winds and cool conditions, making canoeing difficult.

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