Cold Spring man drowns over the weekend in Sauk River

A Cold Spring man drowned Sunday in the Sauk River after trying to recover a boat lift cover that had blown into the water, the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office says.

The sheriff says 69-year-old Lee Ellwein was 30-40 feet from the shore in Wakefield Township at 1:48 p.m., when responders were called to the river.

The sheriff estimates Ellwein was underwater for 15-20 minutes before he was recovered. Attempts to save his life at the scene weren’t successful.

The river water was 53.2 degrees at that time. Although the sheriff didn’t specify what led up to or caused the drowning, the National Weather Service says people can still go into “cold shock” at temperatures between 50-60 degrees.

Multiple agencies were called to the scene and assisted.

No further information is expected from authorities at this time.