Two water emergencies responded to on Tuesday have now resulted in two deaths. According to separate press releases from the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office,
Authorities identified Darrell Pfannenstein, 58, of St. Joseph, Minn. as the first victim, who died of natural causes. A second, separate incident claimed the life of 14-year-old Superior, Wis. boy Davidi Beck, who died of complications from being underwater.
The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office updated the incidents Friday.
At around 5:25 p.m. Tuesday, St. Louis County deputies responded to a water emergency on Lake Vermilion in the area of Greenwood Bay where Pfannenstein was pronounced dead, despite life saving efforts by medical personnel, after being found unresponsive in the water.
Earlier, Pfannenstein had been seen next to a water ski in a shallow area of the bay, struggling to get back on the water ski. A nearby resident boated over and offered assistance which was declined.
A short time later, the resident saw Pfannenstein walking toward the shore and again boated over to offer assistance. When he arrived, he found Pfannenstein floating face down and unresponsive, despite wearing a life jacket.
Pfannenstein was taken to the shore where life saving efforts were made. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
Responding with the Sheriff’s Office were Greenwood Fire Department, Vermilion Lake Fire, Tower Ambulance, Virginia Ambulance, Life Link III air medical, and the St. Louis County Rescue Squad.
The Midwest Medical Examiner determined through a preliminary autopsy that Pfannenstein’s cause of death was natural causes and not a result of drowning.
The second incident occurred around 8:20 p.m. Tuesday at Little Grand Lake near Sampo Beach in Superior, Wis..
Several juvenile males were swimming to a diving dock approximately 75 yards from the shore. One of the juveniles went underwater and never emerged. The other juveniles yelled for help and bystanders on the beach and from nearby boats dove into the water and eventual found the boy in 12-15 feet of water and unresponsive.
The juvenile, now identified as David Beck, was transported to an area hospital in critical condition.
“Swimmer inexperience is believed to be the cause of the incident,” according to an earlier press release from the sheriff's office.
Responding to this emergency were Solway Fire Department, Grand Lake Fire Department, St.Louis County Sheriff's Rescue Squad, and Mayo Clinic Ambulance.
On Thursday, the Beck family contacted the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office and reported that David Beck had passed away over night. He death was due to medical complications arising from being under water.
“The family said they were extremely appreciative for all of the work and effort put in by those involved during this incident,” according to the updated press release from the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office.