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The victims of a Hovercraft accident were hoisted onto a rescue Hovercraft Saturday noon. Sarah Smith/Park Rapids Enterprise

Three rescued from icy waters

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Three people were pulled out of frigid water south of Nevis Saturday after the Hovercraft they were in sunk, which led to an extensive rescue mission by local emergency response teams.

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According to the Hubbard County Sheriff's Office:

At approximately 11:18 a.m. Saturday, Kenneth James Thompson, 48, of Nevis, reported he, his son, James Patrick Thompson, 20, and Justine Renae Christopherson, 19, were aboard a Hovercraft on Island Lake in Crow Wing Lake Township. Thompson said his Hovercraft had stalled on the ice and had begun taking in water.

There were no life jackets on board for the occupants.

The Hubbard County Sheriff's Office, Nevis Fire Department, Nevis First Responders, North Memorial Ambulance, North Memorial Air Care, Walker Fire Department and the Lakes Area Dive Team responded.

Upon arrival, responders found the Hovercraft situated 400 yards from shore on one inch of ice. The ice and cold water made the situation difficult for responders, who wore cold water rescue suits, to reach the craft.

At approximately 11:55 a.m. the Hovercraft had completely sunk, leaving the three people in the water. At noon, the Walker Fire Department and members of the Lakes Area Dive Team arrived with a rescue Hovercraft. By 12:10 p.m., the victims were rescued from the water.

All three individuals were transported by ground ambulance to St. Joseph's Hospital in Park Rapids, where they were evaluated for hypothermia and released with no injuries.

Thompson later told officials he used the Hovercraft to travel to and from the island where his cabin is located.

The incident remains under investigation by the Hubbard County Sheriff's Office.

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