Man dies after St. Croix River swim

  • June 17, 2013 - 5:52 PM

A 23-year-old St. Paul man died Sunday after swimming with a life jacket on in the St. Croix River, but the cause of death has not been determined.

Lee Vang was with a group of friends in a boat closer to the Wisconsin shore near Bayport about 5:45 p.m. when he decided to take a swim in the river toward the Minnesota side, said St. Croix County Sheriff John Shilts. He was wearing a life jacket.

But about 10 feet from shore, he began calling for help, Shilts said. When his friends in the boat reached him and pulled him from the river, Vang was unconscious. He was rushed to shore, but emergency responders could not revive him.

It is unclear what caused Vang’s death, Shilts said. “We don’t know whether he had a medical condition,” he said, and an autopsy will help provide an answer.

Witnesses said alcohol was present on the boat. What, if any, role that might have played is part of the investigation, Shilts said.

jim anderson

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