14-year-old boy dies after swimming accident in Voyageurs National ParkPublished 4:47pm Tuesday, July 30, 2013 Updated 11:01am Wednesday, July 31, 2013
A 14-year-old Fergus Falls boy died Monday night following a swimming accident near International Falls, according to news releases from the Koochiching County and St. Louis County sheriff’s offices.
Briggs Anderson was unresponsive after he was found floating in Rainy Lake in Voyageurs National Park. Rescue personnel responded to the 911 call at 6:22 p.m.
Anderson was taken to Rainy Lake Medical Center, before being airlifted to Essentia Health in Duluth where he later died. He was with a church group touring Rainy Lake by houseboat when the accident occurred.
Autopsy results are pending.
The Koochiching County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Border Patrol, International Falls Ambulance and International Falls Fire Department responded. They were also assisted by other boaters in the area who heard the distress call.
The Koochiching County and St. Louis County sheriff’s offices are investigating the incident.
Dallas Rostad, a youth pastor at Grace United Methodist Church in Fergus Falls, didn’t know Briggs, but Tuesday night he posted this message on Twitter: “When the unthinkable happens … God’s grace is still there. May the peace of God be with the community of Fergus Falls!”
Rostad called the accident a tragedy, adding that his thoughts and prayers go out to the family. He also expressed concern for Allen Westby, the youth director at Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church, who was with the church group at Rainy Lake.
“This has always been a nightmare situation, that I’ve always just dreaded,” Rostad said. “Here it’s happened to one of my peers in ministry.”