POPE HOPE TOWNSHIP, Minn. (WCCO) — Four duck hunters needed rescue after capsizing 200 yards from shore on Three Island Lake in Pope Hope Township Monday evening, according to the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office.

At approximately 6:39 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office was notified that a boat carrying four duck hunters capsized near Woodhaven Resort. The owner of the resort, Bernie Fennell, and bystander, Michael Steele, immediately began launching a boat to help the hunters.

Witnesses at the scene say the hunters had personal flotation devices (PFDs), but were not wearing them at the time of the accident. The hunters, who were struggling in the water near their boat in 10 to 12 feet of water, were plucked out of the water by rescue crews and brought to the shore.

The hunters are identified as 19-year-olds Mitchell James Kohler or Wyoming, Minn., Collin Kerry Johnson of Forest Lake, Chase Daniel Chamberlain also of Forest Lake and 18-year-old Hunter William Smith of Stacy.

They were treated for exposure by EMS personnel and are expected to fully recover.


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