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BWCA canoeist discusses losing friend to drowning accident in 2001

Life jackets are essential on canoe trips to the BWCA. Photo by Mike McSweeney
Life jackets are essential on canoe trips to the BWCA. Photo by Mike McSweeney

A canoeist died in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness June 9 as the result of a drowning accident.
  
On June 11, the body of Joseph Bennett Fedick, of Coon Rapids, Minn., was recovered from the water within a couple hundred yards of the reporting party’s campsite. Fedick was not wearing a life jacket at the time of the incident. 

The news of the recent drowning spread fast in the Boundary Waters community, including social media posts and paddling websites. When the news thread reached Iowa resident Mike McSweeney, he was reminded again how important it is to wear life jackets, or PFDs, while paddling in the Boundary Waters. McSweeney, who has been paddling in the BWCA since the 1980s, lost his friend, also named Joe, to a drowning accident on Knife Lake in 2001.

He spoke with WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs about the incident and the value of life jackets in the BWCA. 
 

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