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05/11/2024 02:15PM  
Waters cold-please wear your life Jacket cold water



Duluth man on camping trip found dead in BWCA lake near capsized canoe
Canoeists found the man in Lake Agnes.
By Star Tribune staff Star Tribune MAY 11, 2024 — 12:31PM

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The body of a Duluth man was found by canoeists Friday in a lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office said.

The man was identified as Mark Ham, 62, who family members said was on a solo camping trip in the Boundary Waters.

The Sheriff's Office said canoeists called 911 about 5 p.m. to report a capsized canoe and a partly submerged body on Lake Agnes, about 25 miles north of Ely, Minn.

Members of the Sheriff's Office rescue squad and U.S. Forest Service recovered Ham's body. He was not wearing a life jacket; one was found at the scene.

The Sheriff's Office and the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office were investigating.

 
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05/11/2024 04:56PM  
Why didn't he wear his life vest? I see far too many people without them. Awful to hear this news. Life vests are mandatory whenever I head into the BWCA - for me and everyone in my group. Time of year or water temp doesn't matter. Such a silly waste of life.
 
05/11/2024 08:50PM  
His Family memorial page said:
We’re absolutely devastated to share that our dad, Mark Ham, tragically passed away on a solo trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. We are still awaiting details surrounding the circumstances but suspect he slipped and hit his head while getting the canoe back into the water. Mark was an avid outdoorsman, taking solo trips to the BWCA 2x a year for decades. He and Cathie enjoyed trips to the Grand Canyon.
 
05/11/2024 09:01PM  
sad news
 
05/11/2024 09:39PM  
Very sad. If the family has the correct info - head trauma should be evident - he could have just wiped out carrying his canoe at the end of a portage. There should also be more evidence to support that including items left on shore. Who knows? Let's not condemn a dead man before all of the facts are available.
 
Canoearoo
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05/11/2024 11:18PM  
They have a go fund me page posted under the Link
 
05/12/2024 03:07AM  
yes very Sad indeed , early spring still damn cold water. it's a canoe , wear your vest.
 
adam
Moderator
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05/12/2024 08:18AM  
Thoughts and prayers for the family. RIP Mark.

Mark joined the site in 2023.
 
05/12/2024 08:46AM  
Very sad for sure. Condolences to family and friends.

We lost a member to drowning in BWCA last year at this same time.

Can you share Marks’s screen name Adam?
 
05/12/2024 10:01AM  
His families go fund me page says he was a Clinical Psychologist from Duluth who may have slipped while putting his canoe in the water and hit his head on a rock.

Canoeist dies in the BWCA
 
05/12/2024 01:56PM  
Very sad, I feel this and am thinking of his family and friends. I think we can all feel this a little more than the average person since we are more often in a similar position going on trips.

T
 
KawnipiKid
distinguished member (210)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/12/2024 02:58PM  
Keeping Mark and his family and friends in my thoughts and prayers. RIP, fellow paddler.
 
05/12/2024 06:39PM  
So sorry to hear of this. Condolences to the family.
 
05/13/2024 03:16AM  
Condolences. Tragic.
 
schweady
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05/13/2024 09:29AM  
Very difficult to hear. Peace and comfort to family and friends.
 
adam
Moderator
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05/13/2024 10:46AM  
Zulu: "Very sad for sure. Condolences to family and friends.


We lost a member to drowning in BWCA last year at this same time.


Can you share Marks’s screen name Adam?"


His screen name was cathieham1960.

Last year we lost long time member Mickael (screen name) in a spring accident.



 
homers
senior member (53)senior membersenior member
  
05/13/2024 11:35AM  
An update from the family on the GoFundMe page

"The US Forest Service reached out to us and assured us that the seaplane ride is at no cost to us. We wanted to update you and let you know that any funds raised will be going towards all memorial costs, transport, cremation, and we will discuss with my mom how she would best like to use the remaining funds. If she doesn’t have immediate financial needs, funds will go towards the BWCA fund to preserve this important park and honor my dad’s memory.

We also want to mention that this has hit the news and how they are portraying it is inaccurate. It is shameful how the media is using this situation and my dad as a scapegoat to remind people to wear their life jackets. The details they have provided are inaccurate. We will not have a final coroner’s report for more than a month, but what we do know points to him having some sort of accident that led to lack of consciousness and then slipping into the water. My dad always had his life vest on when in the canoe."

2 points: no charge for the seaplane, and update on possible cause and why he wasn't wearing a life jacket, which the famiily says he did when on the water.
 
Cvendel
member (21)member
  
05/13/2024 01:16PM  
We were there and helped them find him and bring him out....
 
05/13/2024 02:27PM  
Cvendel: "We were there and helped them find him and bring him out...."

Sorry you had to experience that. It must have been awful. Thanks for helping in such a terrible situation.
 
Cvendel
member (21)member
  
05/13/2024 02:30PM  
Thanks, it was a sad reminder that the Wilderness is serious, I have been going to the BWCA every year for many years and I think I have kind of forgotten how serious it is out that far in the woods, this was a "wake up call," to remember to be vigilant...very sorry for his wife and family....
 
05/13/2024 03:55PM  
homers: " what we do know points to him having some sort of accident that led to lack of consciousness and then slipping into the water."


If this was the case, a life jacket would have been unlikely to have saved him, if drowning was even the cause of death.

I do know that the press likes stories like this where they can act like there is a moral to the story and make people feel safer if they just "follow the rules". It helps them come across more as authority figures that you need to rely on. Plus, drowning in cold water is less of a mouthful and easier to understand than having an accident on shore then falling into the water. The news always needs their headlines...
 
BanjoRacer
  
05/15/2024 04:28PM  
My condolences to the family. We were staying at campsite 1816 on Agnes that day and saw the rescue plane come in. We did not realize how serious it was until we were out of the BWCA and heard the news. Very sad.
 
andym
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05/16/2024 04:11AM  
So sad. My thoughts go out to his family and friends.
 
05/16/2024 07:11AM  
A1t2o: "
homers: " what we do know points to him having some sort of accident that led to lack of consciousness and then slipping into the water."



If this was the case, a life jacket would have been unlikely to have saved him, if drowning was even the cause of death.


I do know that the press likes stories like this where they can act like there is a moral to the story and make people feel safer if they just "follow the rules". It helps them come across more as authority figures that you need to rely on. Plus, drowning in cold water is less of a mouthful and easier to understand than having an accident on shore then falling into the water. The news always needs their headlines..."


Yeah, most people aren't going to have their lifejackets on while loading. The media does the same thing with seatbelts, helmets, and blood alcohol level. Even if it has nothing to do with the end result you can be sure they will mention it.

I knew a guy years ago who got too close to shore while on his jetski and hit his head on a branch. Had a lifejacket on but ended up unconscious face down in the water and drowned. That's often in the back of my mind when I'm on the water.

The best safety precaution you can take is to have a partner but of course not everybody has or wants that. The older I get the more paranoid I get about this kind of stuff. I suppose that's because although it is rare, over the years you see it enough times where it almost seems common. This is another sad reminder of how quickly and unexpectedly it can all go wrong. Be careful out there.
 
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