A canoeist who drowned in a lake near Lake Elmo after his boat sank Thursday has been identified as Ken Xiong, 27, of Woodbury, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

Authorities responded at 11:13 a.m. Thursday to a 911 call about a man in distress on Lake Jane. Fire rescue units and the Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol found Xiong in the water. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Xiong was fishing in a canoe with two other men when strong winds and waves flooded the canoe, which then sank, authorities said. Only one of the men had a life jacket.

A neighbor who witnessed the canoe’s swamping went out on his boat and rescued two of the men, authorities said. But he was unable to reach Xiong.

Authorities said alcohol does not appear to have been a factor.

STAFF REPORT