MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It was a deadly weekend on the water after three people died in metro area lakes.
Hennepin County deputies say a woman died due to a medical emergency on Long Lake around 7 p.m. Saturday.
And just a few miles away another woman, identified by family as a Nitaya Keodouangdy, drowned on Lake Minnetonka. A 7-year-old girl also died in a drowning Sunday afternoon at East Bush Lake in Bloomington.
It was a day meant for celebration for Nitaya’s family, but it turned into tragedy.
Family and friends of Nitaya — who went missing on Lake Minnetonka Saturday night — gathered near Maxwell Bay Launch as authorities searched for the 36-year-old.
At about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, a dive team pulled her body from Crystal Bay.
A family member told WCCO the woman had been celebrating her birthday along with nearly a dozen people on a pontoon, and that there were either no life jackets on board or not enough.
“It’s just a good reminder to everybody to avoid these tragic weekends like we had this weekend,” Lt. Steve Labatt with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office said.
Labatt says the deadly weekend on the water is a reminder of how quickly drownings can happen.
“Drownings are a silent death. Contrary to what many people feel, that there is a lot of noise and attention being drawn, drownings when they occur, they’re under water,” Labatt said. “They’re silent.”
Minnesota boaters are required to have a life jacket for each person on board. Children under the age of 10 have to wear a life jacket at all times. It’s unclear if Nitaya was wearing a life jacket or drinking before she drowned.
“Remain vigilant, looking out for one another and have a safe experience on the water,” Labatt said.
Nitaya’s drowning, along with the girl’s death in Bloomington, marks three deaths on Minnesota lakes this year, according to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office. There were six deaths last year.