BWCA paddler recounts near-death experience after capsizing during fishing opener weekend
High water levels and lingering ice are making for a treacherous start to the paddling season across the Boundary Waters this spring.
Craig Regep, a resident of Hanover, Minnesota, experienced this firsthand at the start of a canoe trip in the BWCA on Friday, May 13.
Regep’s trip started at the end of the Arrowhead Trail on the far eastern side of the BWCA. He was paddling from John Lake to the Royal River en route to North Fowl Lake when he capsized in a solo Kevlar canoe. After tumbling into the frigid waters, Regep was alone and without a canoe. He did not have an emergency beacon or SPOT-location device. Hypothermia started to set in as Regep attempted to make his way back to the parking area at the end of the Arrowhead.
Regep spoke of his experience with WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs in this discussion. Audio below.