8-year-old Minn. survivor of sailboat capsizing remains hospitalized

  • Updated: April 10, 2012 - 10:15 AM

Isaiah Risland

An 8-year-old boy from northern Minnesota remained hospitalized in Minneapolis on Sunday after suffering hypothermia in a Clearwater County sailing accident that took the lives of his two younger brothers.

Isaiah Risland remained at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. His parents, Dan and Ruth Risland, of the Bemidji area, have requested prayers for their son but asked Sunday that no condition updates be issued, said hospital spokesman Justin Theodotou. The boy was reported in critical condition on Saturday by the Clearwater County Sheriff's Office.

Dan Risland, 31, had taken his sons, Isaiah, 6-year-old Zech and 2-year-old Jacob, sailing on his new sailboat Friday afternoon on Clearwater Lake, about 45 minutes northwest of Bemidji.

About 3 p.m., strong winds tipped the boat, throwing them into the frigid water, said Clearwater County Sheriff Mike Erickson.

Risland tried to reach his sons, all of whom were wearing life jackets. But he struggled in the wind and waves and was becoming hypothermic. He told Isaiah to watch his brothers while he swam to shore for help, the sheriff said.

By the time authorities arrived, the boys had been in the 40-degree water for about an hour, Erickson said. Ice had recently melted off the lake. The two younger boys died of hypothermia.


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