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Published July 05, 2011, 10:01 AM

Authorities Identify Body Recovered From Long Lake in MN

Authorities have recovered the body of a man who died Sunday in a boating incident on Long Lake just west of Detroit Lakes.

By: Danielle Cintron, Forum Communications

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – Authorities have recovered the body of a man who died Sunday in a boating incident on Long Lake just west of Detroit Lakes.

The Becker County Sheriff's Department said the body of Barry Edward Ellegaard, 47, of Detroit Lakes, was recovered in about 34 feet of water about 9:40 a.m. today.

The Sheriff's Department said it appeared Ellegaard was struck by the propeller of a pontoon motor after he inadvertently left the motor in gear prior to jumping off the bow of the pontoon to swim.

The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department assisted Becker County authorities in the use of a specialized sonar device.

Divers began searching for Ellegaard about 7:30 p.m. Sunday, but limited visibility in the lake hampered search efforts.

Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon said the man was one of four people aboard the pontoon boat at the time of the incident.

Gordon said the group was swimming from the boat.

The victim's family did not want to speak with the media.

“The family, as you can anticipate, is extremely distraught,” Gordon said.

The search, in a 1,000-square-yard area of the lake, was mapped out at daybreak Monday. The search began with one-hour shifts rotating 10 volunteer divers.

The underwater search was complicated by extremely low light levels and a silty lake bottom. The depth of the water in the search perimeter was 42 feet, but light is lost at 20 feet.

The incident was reported Sunday night, and police arrived on the scene 10 to 15 minutes later.

Gordon said this is the first holiday-related incident Becker County has seen in a while.

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