A state conservation officer who died after being thrown from a boat into an east-central Minnesota lake Friday may not have been wearing a life jacket, according to emergency dispatch audio of the incident.
Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conservation officer Eugene Wynn Jr., 43, died Friday night after he and a Pine County sheriff’s deputy were thrown from the boat and went under within a minute of responding to a call of something suspicious floating in Cross Lake near Pine City.
Rescuers pulled the deputy safely from the water. Wynn’s body was found about 1:30 a.m. Saturday following an intensive search. The Sheriff’s Office identified the deputy as Scott Grice.
An exchange over emergency dispatch audio as the scene unfolded revealed an officer on the shore of Cross Lake being asked, “Do you know, did he have a life jacket?”
The officer, a little more than 100 feet from where the two men went in the water, replied, “I don’t believe he had it on.”
Neither the Sheriff’s Office nor the DNR have said whether Wynn had on a life jacket.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482