An Iron Range man drowned in a mine pit while trying to rescue his dog in the water, authorities said Sunday.

Gary Paternoster, 56, of Buhl, swam into the pit Saturday evening at the end of State Street in his hometown "n an effort to free his dog that was apparently caught on something," a statement from the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office said.

Before reaching his dog, Paternoster went under, the Sheriff's Office added.

Members of the county's rescue squad recovered Paternoster, who still had a pulse at that time. An ambulance took him to a hospital in Hibbing, and he died there later that evening, authorities said.

The Sheriff's Office has yet to say whether the dog survived.