Body of Moose Lake Man Recovered from Sturgeon Lake

Authorities in Pine County are searching for John Fanning who was last seen in the water at Sturgeon Lake Saturday.  Authorities in Pine County are searching for John Fanning who was last seen in the water at Sturgeon Lake Saturday.  |  Photo: KSTP-TV

Updated: July 10, 2018 07:43 PM

Authorities have recovered the body of a Moose Lake boater who went missing Saturday while on Sturgeon Lake. 

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Pine County Sheriff's Office says the body of 28-year-old John Fanning was found Monday afternoon on Sturgeon Lake around 4:40 p.m. 

Authorities say Fanning went missing Saturday after jumping off a boat into the water. Witnesses reported Fanning having trouble in the water before going under, the Sheriff's Office says. 

KSTP reports that something flew out of Fanning's boat when he then reached out trying to retrieve it and fell into the water. The Pine County Sheriff's Office said Fanning was with a friend who leaned over and tried to grab ahold of him, but he slipped away. A friend told authorities Fanning wasn't wearing a life jacket. It is not known if he knew how to swim. 

"It just happened so quickly," said Pine County Sheriff Jeff Nelson. "We typically hear they were such a good swimmer, nobody would imagine that could've happened, until it does. So we want to make sure the message is clear, that life jackets save lives."

Authorities searched using K9's, divers, sonar equipment and an underwater robot.

Assisting Pine County were Moose Lake Fire, Sturgeon Lake Fire, Willow River Fire, Mercy Ambulance, MN DNR Conservation Officers, St. Louis County Search and Rescue, Stacy-Lent Department Dive Team and family and friends of Fanning. 

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