Man jumps from boat and dies trying to save dog from Minnesota’s West Lake

A man jumped from a dock into a lake in western Minnesota and died trying to save his dog, authorities said Monday.

The death, described as a suspected drowning, occurred around 1:15 p.m. Saturday on South Lida Lake, located about 7 miles east of Pelican Rapids, the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office said.

The deceased man has been identified as Eric Fife, 48, who lived near the lake. The sheriff’s office said the dog survived.

Fife entered the water with a seat pad designed to be used as a flotation device, while the dog did not have a canine life jacket, sheriff’s Lt. Greg Seim said.

According to the sheriff’s office:

Fife and his friends were boating on the lake when the dog jumped into the water and he went to get his pet.

“Moments later, it became apparent to his companions that Mr. Fife was in distress and struggling to stay above the water,” a statement from the sheriff’s office read.

One of the friends entered the lake and brought Fife and the dog back into the boat, where CPR began.

When the boat arrived at a lake access point, rescuers took over rescue efforts, but Fife died at the scene.

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