Elkhart man rescued from northern Minnesota wilderness

The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office received a call Saturday night from an Ely-area outfitter that had dropped off Chori Rummel, 34, of Elkhart, Indiana, earlier for his first trip into the wilderness.

Posted: Oct 20, 2020 11:24 AM

ELY, Minn. (AP) — An Indiana man is safe and warm after rescuers found him cold, wet and alone in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of northern Minnesota.

The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office received a call Saturday night from an Ely-area outfitter that had dropped off Chori Rummel, 34, of Elkhart, Indiana, earlier for his first trip into the wilderness.

The solo paddler used a handheld Garmin inReach device to send an SOS signal, and a message stating “Help Wet and Cold.”

Capt. Rick Slatten of the department’s rescue squad said Monday that they had to cross Nina-Moose Lake, roughly 20 miles north of Ely, in cold and snowy conditions.

“It was as dark as I’ve ever seen it out there. You couldn’t see anything. It was snowing heavily, fog was moving in, and there was ice on the lake,” Sean Williams, a Department of Natural Resources conservation officer, told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis. “We had to break through ice to get to the middle of the lake, and when we made it to the middle, it was so dark we had to use a GPS to find the shore and his campsite.”

Rescuers found Rummel in a tent inside a lightweight sleeping bag, wearing his one remaining set of dry clothes. He was experiencing hypothermia. The rescue team lit a fire, warmed him up, then brought him to safety.

Rummel, who was only one day into what he intended to be a weeklong visit, told the Star Tribune he sent his distress message once his hands became stiff from the wet and cold.

“I made a poor choice of gloves” Rummel said. “They said waterproof on the packaging, but they weren’t. If it wouldn’t have been for my hands, I would have stayed out there longer, but you can’t work very good if you can’t use your hands. It got so cold, my cellphone shut down on me.”

Slatten said Rummel is fortunate to be alive. Even if he had been strong enough to make it out on his own, the officer said, the ice had become so thick that Rummel would have had to carry out his canoe and gear, rather than paddle out.

Rummel said his experience has not dissuaded him from trying again, “but not until June.”

The sheriff’s office said everyone who ventures into the BWCA should prepare for all conditions, not take unnecessary risks, leave a travel plan, and travel with a GPS or SOS device in case of emergencies.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1097128

Reported Deaths: 17438
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1437882222
Lake712531225
Allen65537867
Hamilton50147482
St. Joseph48760639
Elkhart39461538
Vanderburgh34221495
Tippecanoe30237271
Johnson27179463
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Vigo18764308
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Delaware16425291
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Warrick11995189
Wayne11879265
Floyd11869225
Grant11701235
Morgan10252188
Boone9675120
Noble9069121
Henry9002165
Marshall8907146
Dearborn881799
Dubois8710139
Shelby8054128
Cass8014127
Lawrence7922182
DeKalb7591106
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Jackson743893
Gibson7002118
Montgomery6910123
Harrison685296
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Steuben654186
Miami6477107
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Washington384154
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Martin150819
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Warren132216
Union117816
Ohio91413
Unassigned0585

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1683472

Reported Deaths: 26483
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1766331826
Cuyahoga1641462636
Hamilton1122641528
Montgomery794721387
Summit702171199
Lucas618431017
Butler55878803
Stark525841170
Lorain41058639
Warren35404412
Mahoning35095769
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Clermont30711362
Delaware26682182
Trumbull26664611
Licking26200335
Medina25291351
Fairfield24173287
Greene24051369
Clark21653387
Portage20709280
Richland20587336
Wood19626246
Allen18542320
Miami17031348
Columbiana16502331
Muskingum16416206
Wayne15432304
Tuscarawas14086357
Marion13054194
Erie12423198
Ashtabula12314225
Scioto12235182
Pickaway12070151
Ross11487223
Hancock11256173
Geauga10666174
Lawrence10504171
Belmont10259231
Huron9588155
Jefferson9462225
Union939175
Sandusky9068166
Seneca8692156
Knox8618169
Washington8613156
Athens827396
Darke8270179
Ashland7840147
Auglaize7741115
Shelby7337132
Defiance7210114
Crawford7082150
Brown7052115
Fulton7016111
Logan6857108
Mercer681697
Guernsey680283
Highland6615117
Madison641389
Clinton6388106
Williams628798
Preble6171139
Putnam6089120
Jackson572396
Champaign568286
Perry558879
Coshocton5552103
Ottawa553599
Morrow506464
Fayette483170
Hardin477899
Gallia462978
Pike459076
Van Wert454691
Adams4514109
Henry424976
Hocking401493
Holmes3939137
Wyandot367973
Carroll351578
Paulding319349
Meigs302457
Monroe231860
Noble216447
Morgan210138
Harrison205152
Vinton183937
Unassigned05
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