Father, Daughter on Camping Trip Drown in Lake Superior

August 11, 2017 09:59 PM

Family members say a father and daughter who drowned in Lake Superior had come to the Duluth area for a camping trip before school started.

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The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office says 10-year-old Lillian Elizabeth Fuglie of Hudson, Wis., and 38-year-old Ryan Paul Fuglie of Osceola, Wis., died after being pulled from the water off Park Point on Thursday afternoon. Lillian's 12-year-old sister had reported them missing when they didn't return to shore.

Numerous agencies responded when the report came in at 4:26 p.m. Lillian Fuglie was pulled from the water at 5:22 and Ryan Fuglie was pulled out at 6:04.

Lillian's mother, Maggie Wacker-Fritze, said her daughter always wanted to be active outside and was her beacon of light.

"Lillian was outgoing with a huge heart. Lillian had a beautiful voice and would sing at any chance she got," Wacker-Fritze said.

"Lillian loved dressing up in big fancy dresses, doing her nails, and being the center of attention. She made everybody laugh with her 'vlogs' and make-up tutorials. We would always find hundreds of selfies on our phones because Lillian loved to make us laugh," she said.

Wacker-Fritze described Ryan Fuglie as a loving, devoted father, and said Lillian always considered herself a "daddy's girl."

The Duluth Fire Department said the search for Lillian and her father was hampered by five to seven-foot swells near the shore.

One firefighter was injured during the second rescue. According to the fire department, he took in a "large amount of water as he successfully returned the victim to shore." Fire officials say he is doing okay and recovering. He was released from the hospital last night and was able to finish his shift.

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Department and Rescue Squad, U.S. Coast Guard, and Duluth Police Department also participated in the search. The fire department thanked the other agencies who responded, saying it was a "lengthy, but well coordinated search effort in difficult weather conditions."

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office is still investigating.

The National Weather Service had issued a Beach Hazard statement for Dangerous Swimming Conditions for Park Point, which was in effect from 10 a.m. Thursday to 10 a.m. Friday.


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