DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — A Minneapolis woman was rescued from Big Detroit Lake after her kayak capsized Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 22.
Becker County Sheriff Todd Glander said Veronica Surges told him a wave caused her and the kayak to flip over. She was tossed into the water and lost her paddle. Instead of trying to go to the kayak, Surges told Glander she decided to swim toward shore.
Someone from the Lodge on Lake Detroit saw Surges in the water and called authorities at 4:19 p.m. The sheriff's office, Detroit Lakes police and fire departments, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, St. Mary's EMS, state patrol and one member of the Frazee Fire Department responded.
"When we got there she was ... conscious and alert and she was just trying to get to shore," Glander said.
Glander and a DNR member went on a private citizen's boat to help Surges, who was about 50 yards from the northeast shore of the lake, according to scanner reports. Responders also had an airboat, and two firefighters in a sheriff's boat. Another firefighter had a personal boat, but the private citizen's craft was the fastest way to help, Glander said.
Glander said they were able to pull Surges onto their boat at 4:32 p.m.
Surges was brought to Essentia Health-St. Mary's, where she was treated and released. The kayak was also pulled to shore.
Although Surges was fine and the situation ended positively, Glander warned the community not to go out on the lake in bad weather if they don't have to.
"It's windy and the water is cold," he said. "It doesn't take long where you start to get cold hands, and hypothermia can set in real fast."
The temperature was around 37 degrees with a windchill of 27 degrees around the time of the incident, according to the National Weather Service. Visibility was about 10 miles on the overcast afternoon.
If anyone goes out in this weather, having a life jacket/personal flotation device is a must. Surges was wearing a life jacket and wetsuit, and that helped her immensely, Glander said.
He also said to make sure others know what you are doing when you go out on the water — and when you are supposed to return.