Sheriffs recover body from Lake Minnetonka, HCSO urges caution on the water

By Adam Quandt
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Smith’s Bay on Lake Minnetonka in Orono. (Nicole Brodzik/The Laker)

On June 1, Hennepin County Sheriff’s deputies recovered the body of an adult male in Smith’s Bay on Lake Minnetonka.

According to a press release from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, at approximately 4 p.m., deputies found the body of 65-year-old Blaine resident David Carlson in Lake Minnetonka, roughly 250 yards west of Brackett’s Point in Orono.

According to a press release from the sheriff’s office, law enforcement had been searching the lake after locating an abandoned sailboat around 3:30 on May 31.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the case for cause and manner of death.

With temperatures rising and the arrival of summer weather, public safety officials are urging caution and preparedness when it comes to safety on the water.

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said that there are three key points that the sheriff’s office try to drive home to people. Watch, wear and learn.

Those enjoying the water in Minnesota should watch where they are at all times.

“Especially keep an eye on young ones,” Stanek said. “It’s important to be aware of what’s around you and where everyone is at all times.”

Like past years, the sheriff’s office is hitting the “wear” portion of their three key tips hard this year.

“No matter what level swimmer you are, wear a life jacket,” Stanek said. “I’m 55 years old and I wear a life jacket when I go swimming.”

Stanek said that having a floatation device isn’t “always those giant orange things around your neck.” There are a variety of different person floatation devices available for use.

According to Minnesota law, all children under the age of 10 are required to have a life jacket on at all times, while on a watercraft. Minnesota law also requires boats to have a size-appropriate life jacket for each person onboard.

Life jackets are a big thing sheriffs check when stopping boats out on the water. However, sheriffs will also check to make sure boaters are registered, have a fire extinguisher and have a Carbon Monoxide detector if required under Sophia’s Law.

Stanek and the sheriff’s office encourage all those using Minnesota waterways to learn about boating safety and swimming safety.

“Minnesotans love the water,” Stanek said. “Everyone should be taught how to swim.”

Stanek also said that it’s important to designate a safe boating operator if alcohol is part of a person’s plans out on the water.

“Make sure whoever’s driving, isn’t the one drinking,” Stanek said.

Lastly, Stanek and the sheriff’s office urge those chomping at the bit to get out on the water to “pay attention to the weather.”

“Just because you see blue skies, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily going to stay that way,” Stanek said.

Most importantly, the sheriff’s office wants people to get out there and enjoy Minnesota waterways.

“We don’t want to restrict their fun,” Stanek said. “We just want them to be safe while having fun.”

More information on water and boating safety can be found on the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office website, at