Man overboard on Waukenabo Lake
***Release from Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office***
On August 10, 2021, at approximately 3:00 p.m., Aitkin County Dispatch received a 911 call of a male overboard on Waukenabo Lake. The call came from a member of the boating party, all family members from Colorado who are staying at an Airbnb on Waukenabo Lake.
William Hinricher, 63, had jumped off the pontoon boat and immediately began struggling in the water. Lake conditions were windy with small white capped waves blowing from northwest to northeast. Two life jackets were thrown to Hinricher and attempts were made to reach him by hand. Hinricher was unable to reach the life jackets or the outstretched arms.
Sheriff’s office personnel launched on Waukenabo Lake and assisted the family in returning the boat to the dock. Minnesota State Patrol flew over the lake surface in an attempt to locate the missing man. At approximately 5:30 p.m. Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office, assisted by St. Louis County and Itasca County Search and Rescue, executed recovery operations until Hinricher was located at approximately 10:15 p.m. Underwater robots were deployed to retrieve the body, which was then transported to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office for autopsy.
Also responding were Minnesota DNR, Palisade Fire, and North Ambulance.