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Updated: Man drowns in St. Louis River


November 22, 2019

An early morning water emergency Saturday left a man dead in the Saint Louis River in Scanlon, according to a press release from the Cloquet Police Department.

At approximately 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning, Nov. 23, officers were clearing a call at a local bar and were notified of the sound of someone calling for help.

Officers discovered a person had fallen through the ice on the Saint Louis River, south of Minnesota Highway 61 in Scanlon.

Emergency personnel attempted to reach the victim using a nearby boat, rope lines and throw rings, but were unsuccessful. Approximately 10 minutes later, the victim went under the water.

The Saint Louis County Rescue Squad assisted in the rescue using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV.)

Minnesota Power was notified, and water flow was reduced at the dam upstream from the incident location.

At approximately 5:45 a.m., the ROV located the victim underwater in about 20 feet of water and 40 feet from where the victim was last seen.

The victim, 34-year-old Ryan William Hill from Scanlon, Minnesota, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Medical Examiner took the victim for further examination.

Interim CPD chief Derek Randall said the case is still under investigation. Police do not know at this time if foul play is suspected or why the

victim was on the ice at the time he went through.

It is believed the river depth where the victim fell through is about eight feet deep.

There are still spots of open water in the vicinity. The river is entirely open just south of the drowning location under Interstate I-35.

Traffic was shut down over the Hwy 61 bridge while the rescue and recovery operation occurred. Cloquet Police were assisted by the Cloquet Area Fire District, Saint Louis County Rescue Squad, Carlton County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota State Patrol.

Ryan Hill is survived by his wife, Ashley, and their boys, Ryley and Gavin Hill. A Memorial Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 at Nelson Funeral Care. in Cloquet. Visitation will continue Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 515 Skyline Blvd., Cloquet, MN from 10:00 a.m. until the 11:00 a.m. Memorial Service. A luncheon in the church will follow the service.


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