Conservation Officer Dies While Responding to Call of Possible Body in Pine County
PINE CITY, Minn. – Minnesota Conservation Officer, Eugene Wynn, died while responding to a call of a possible body in the water Friday night on Cross Lake, east of Pine City.
According to the Pine County Sheriff’s Office, at about 7:44 p.m Friday, dispatch received a call of a possible body in the water in Cross Lake. The call came from a witness fishing from the shore.
Deputies and Conservation Officer Wynn responded, but were not able to identify the object from the shoreline. So, Wynn got his boat, and he and a deputy launched it into Cross Lake.
According to a release, within a minute of leaving the launch, both officers were thrown from the boat into the water. They began swimming towards shore and additional deputies attempted to rescue them using a nearby row boat.
When authorities reached the deputy, they retrieved him, and he was transported to the hospital. He was treated and released.
However, Wynn went under the water before authorities could get to him. Officials say the conservation officer’s body was recovered at about 1:35 a.m. after an intensive search.
According to the Minnesota DNR, Eugene Wynn had been a conservation officer since 2001. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Wynn is the 22nd Minnesota conservation officer to die in the line of duty.
The Pine County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the cause the accident. Officials did not recover the object that was initially reported.