A thrill-seeking teenage boy was pulled from a rain-swollen river in Duluth and later died, authorities said Sunday.
Will J. Schlotec, 15, of Duluth, was with a group of young friends when he jumped into a section of Amity Creek known as the Deeps late Saturday afternoon, according to the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office.
A caller notified authorities about 5:20 p.m. that Schlotec did not resurface. Roughly 20 minutes later, emergency responders located the teen several blocks downstream in the Lester River just north of London Road. That’s beyond where the creek and the river meet, and just short of Lake Superior.
He had to be extricated from the ravine via a rope system. After resuscitation efforts, Schlotec was taken by ambulance to nearby St. Luke’s Hospital, where he died.
Schlotec attended Duluth East High School and played lacrosse.
“He was a herculean kid, no question about that,” his lacrosse coach, Rick Heimbach, told the Duluth News Tribune. “I think sometimes he thought he was invincible.”
The Sheriff’s Office said in a statement announcing the death that Schlotec “liked to be daring and just jumped into the water.”
“It’s a very common swimming hole but also a very dangerous one,” said Assistant Fire Chief Erik Simonson. The Duluth area had almost 2½ inches of rain Saturday, making the area “a very dangerous spot.”
The Deeps is a popular but unsanctioned swimming attraction. Saturday’s was the second serious incident there this summer, according to the News Tribune. In June, a 22-year-old man was pulled from the water by friends after he jumped in and was knocked unconscious. He later regained consciousness and was treated for a cut to the head.
In 2011, a 13-year-old boy drowned at the Deeps after being swept away by the current. Other swimmers have been rescued in recent years after hitting rocks while jumping in.