Monday, October 8, 2018

On This Date in Minnesota History: October 8

October 8, 1909 – A search party saved the lives of Thorwald F. Beherns, age 23, and Joseph Symington, age 30, of Duluth today.

They were out duck hunting on a small lake near McGregor, and were marooned on a floating bog, where starvation confronted them on one hand and death by drowning on the other, for they were three days without food and they could not swim. The men went duck hunting last Sunday and were to return to Duluth Monday morning.

They failed to return and sent no word. Two search parties went from Duluth today to look for the missing men, and one party found them on the floating bog.

The bog was against the bank of the lake and offered secure enough footing when they went on it, thinking it would be a good place to wait for duck flights. Before they were aware of it, the bog had floated away from the land.

Example of a small floating bog1

Unable to swim and with no food, except a sandwich or two for lunch, assistance from the shore was necessary or they would perish.

The men were utterly exhausted and had to be helped into the boat that brought them back to shore.

The Minneapolis Tribune; “Marooned Duck Hunters Narrowly Esape Death. Two Duluth men Stranded on a Floating Bog Three Days Without Food. Couldn’t Swim and Were in an Exhausted State When Rescued.”; Oct. 9, 1909; p. 1.



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