MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It was a tragic Father’s Day weekend on a western Minnesota lake.

Christopher Schultz, 31, jumped in to reportedly save his 3-year-old son who had fallen into Dead Shot Bay on Detroit Lakes. Bystanders were able to pull the child to shore, but Schultz never resurfaced.

Christopher Schultz (credit: GoFundMe)

“The guy sacrificed his life to make sure his kid would see another day,” family friend Matthew Clark said.

In Anoka County, a 53-year-old man had removed his life jacket and was swimming near a boat when he began to struggle before going underwater.

“The big message that I would encourage people to do is to wear their life jackets,” said Sgt. Rick Waldon with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office water patrol. “That’s the safety equipment that’s going to save your life.”

In Minnesota, every boater is required to have a life jacket, though unless you’re under age 10 you don’t have to be wearing it on board. Sgt. Waldon said it’s important to remember even good swimmers can’t always deal with the elements.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 people die every day from unintentional drownings. Sgt. Waldon says when you’re at the beach or pool, put the phone down and pay attention.

“Swimming at a designated area, having a buddy system and juveniles shouldn’t be in the water without an adult,” he said.

The American Red Cross also recommends:

  • Make sure everyone in the family learns to swim well
  • Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching/throwing device, life jackets, cell phone, and first aid kit
  • Make sure everyone in the family learns to swim well, including adults
  • Enroll in first aid and CPR/AED courses to respond to emergencies

A GoFundMe has been set up for Schultz’s funeral expenses.

Kate Raddatz

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