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Fargo man, woman rescued from near drowning on Detroit Lake

Emergency responders transport one of the near-drowning victims from Detroit Lake to Essentia Health-St. Mary's on the evening of July 7. Nate Bowe / Tribune

Two swimmers who got separated from their boat on Detroit Lake and were found struggling in the water were successfully rescued July 7.

Jay Weist, 51, and Tracey Powell, 50, both of Fargo, N.D., were brought to shore and transported to Essentia Health-St. Mary’s with what appeared to be non-life-threatening conditions, according a press release from the Becker County Sheriff’s Office.

Powell was found struggling to swim about 200 yards from shore near the J&K Marina and Holiday Haven Motel and was pulled from the water by Becker County Boat and Water Deputies. The male was found by a group on a pontoon, who were unable to pull him out of the water but held onto him in the water until authorities arrived.

The sheriff’s office was first notified of a situation at 7:42 p.m. that evening, the release states, when a report came in of an abandoned boat afloat on Detroit Lake south of the Holiday Haven Motel. While attempting to find the owner of that abandoned boat, another report came in, of possibly two injured people in the water between the marina and the motel.

Deputies on the scene located and rescued Powell, and then received notification of Weist.

Further investigation indicated Weist and Powell left the boat they were in to go for a swim, and the boat floated away from them due to windy conditions. While attempting to get to the boat, they both became exhausted and got separated. Neither one was wearing a life jacket.