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Fargo pair swimming in Detroit Lake rescued after wind pushes boat away

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — Becker County sheriff's deputies rescued two Fargo residents from Detroit Lake Saturday, July 7, after they got separated from their boat while swimming on a windy evening, according to the sheriff's office.

Deputies responded to a report of an abandoned boat floating on Detroit Lake about 7:42 p.m. Saturday. The sheriff's office also received reports of two people possibly injured in the water between the J&K Marina and Holiday Haven Motel.

The deputies found a woman, later identified as 50-year-old Tracey Powell, struggling to swim about 200 yards from shore.

After Powell was brought to safety, deputies learned that a group on a pontoon had found a man, later identified as 51-year-old Jay Weist, in the water. Unable to pull him into the pontoon, the group held onto Weist until deputies arrived, the sheriff's office said.

The deputies brought Weist and Powell to shore, and the two were taken to St. Mary's Hospital in Detroit Lakes. It appeared that both would survive their ordeal, the sheriff's office said.

Weist and Powell, both of Fargo, reportedly had left the boat to swim, and the boat floated away due to the wind. Both tried to get back to the boat, but became exhausted and got separated. They were not wearing life preservers, the sheriff's office said.

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