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Good Samaritan with pontoon rescues man after boat capsizes on Rice Lake near Paynesville, Minnesota

A news release from the Stearns County Sheriff's office said 66-year-old William Henrichs, of St. Cloud, was rescued from Rice Lake by another man with a pontoon after Henrichs' boat capsized Monday

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PAYNESVILLE — A good Samaritan with a pontoon rescued a St. Cloud man — cold but uninjured — after his boat capsized Monday afternoon on Rice Lake in Eden Lake Township east of Paynesville.

A news release from the Stearns County Sheriff’s office identified the man as 66-year-old William Henrichs.

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The caller who reported the accident at 4:02 p.m. Monday said that he had also notified his neighbor of what he saw, and the neighbor used a pontoon boat to respond to the capsized boat and the boater in distress. The pontoon driver was able to help Henrichs into his boat and pull the capsized boat back to shore, according to the news release.

Henrichs was operating a 1981 14-foot Sylvan watercraft with a 9.9-horsepower motor. According to the release, Henrichs told responding deputies he was traveling northeast near the point on Patricia Street.

When he came around the point, the wind conditions increased, causing large waves. The boat motor stopped working and water began to fill the back of the boat, causing it to capsize.

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Henrichs was wearing an inflatable personal flotation device, according to the release, but it was not Coast Guard-approved and did not auto-inflate. Henrichs had difficulty finding the inflation cord but eventually did, and was able to call 911.

He estimated he was in the water for 10 to 15 minutes before the pontoon arrived to assist, according to the release.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Paynesville Fire Department and CentraCare Ambulance assisted at the scene.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "West Central Tribune staff report." Often, the "West Central Tribune staff report" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

The West Central Tribune newsroom can be reached via email:
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