Man Dies of Natural Causes in Lake Vermillion

St. Louis County is investigating the incident.

ELY, Minn.- A man is pronounced dead Tuesday after trying to get back on his watercraft on Lake Vermillion, about 30 miles west of Ely.

A resident saw 58-year-old Darrell Pfannenstein of St. Joseph struggling to get back on his jet ski in shallow water.

The resident offered help but Pfannenstein declined. Later he was seen walking towards shore and was found floating facedown, unresponsive, wearing a personal flotation device (PFD).

Despite their best efforts, medical personnel could not revive the victim and he was pronounced dead. Preliminary autopsy results determine the cause of death to be natural causes and not drowning.

The St. Louis County Sheriff’s office is investigating the incident.


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