One man is hurt after trying to save a child that fell overboard

By: WEAU 13 NEWS Email
By: WEAU 13 NEWS Email

Deputies say one man was hurt after trying to rescue a one-year-old child that fell into the water.

The Chippewa County Sheriff's Department says 31-year-old James Braaten of White Bear Lake, Minnesota and three children were on a boat in Lake Holcombe when the one-year old fell overboard.

Deputies say Braaten tried to grab the child but fell into the water as well. He was hit by the propeller while it was still moving. A five-year-old, still on board, turned the key shutting off the motor.

People on shore helped all four out of the water with use of a pontoon boat. Braaten was flown to Luther Hospital in Eau Claire for severe cuts to his leg.

The children, ages 1, 3 and 5 were treated at the scene and released to their mother.

All four were wearing life vests.


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  • by T Location: CF on Jun 9, 2010 at 12:40 PM
    Anon in River Falls.... umm, you need to check the laws and the story. First off, you only HAVE to take boaters safety if you're born after 1988. This man is 31 years old. Second, you don't HAVE to have a tethered kill switch. Third, where did it say anyone but the adult was driving? I just don't understand a lot of you people saying its a terrible thing to take your kids on the water at this age. I have had my son on the boat since he was 5 months old. It was an accident, lets treat it like one instead of blaming the guy for spending time with his kids on the lake. Maybe all of you naysayers should run a child care class, because you obviously know more about what children should and shouldn't be allowed to do than what anyone else does apparently.
  • by Refreshing Location: Eau Claire on Jun 9, 2010 at 09:39 AM
    I find it refreshing that this guy cared enough about his kids and himself to make sure all were wearing life jackets. Too many people don't. Glad everybody is ok!
  • by me Location: ec on Jun 8, 2010 at 06:18 PM
    To eally people: Not all 3 children were under school age. Most 5 yr olds are in Kindergarten. . . and yes, that is full time school. Accidents DO happen and are not always avoidable. Just be thankful everyone lived.
  • by Nicole Location: Orange county, ca on Jun 8, 2010 at 04:43 PM
    You people don't know what your talking about. This man is my brother in law, he is a genuinely great person, the little girls are my nieces, and the little boy is my nephew. The girls are very smart and intelligent for their ages. They all have grown up on a lake and they know whats right and wrong when on a boat. They were barely even moving so who are you all to judge the situation? It was an accident that he fell off and James reached to grab him and save him yet fell in himself. Accidents happen. Its not like they were on the boat speeding and no one had life jackets.
  • by anon Location: RiverFalls on Jun 8, 2010 at 04:36 PM
    The adult was not in control of boat and should be fined. In Wi. the type of boat that he was operating requires the operator to be tethered to kill switch. His age requires him to have obtain a boat safety course. If he was following the rules this would not have happened
  • by anon Location: RF on Jun 8, 2010 at 04:29 PM
    Several legal questions, Why was the adult not teathered to kill switch why was child driving boat is the adult properly licensed to operated boat Wi say adult must be in operation of boat and has to have boating safety course to operate at this persons age. I comend him for saving the child, but it could have been prevented if he wold have followed proper boat safety rules.
  • by anonymous Location: eau claire on Jun 8, 2010 at 02:21 PM
    Ch - Why so bitter about Carl simply stating facts?
  • by eally people?? on Jun 8, 2010 at 12:55 PM
    I'm with Carl and John on this one. Yes, it was a accident, but the moment I read he was in a boat with a 1, 3, & 5 yo, I thought, you're kidding right? It's common sense, not science Ch. What ever happened to taking personal responsibility? I'm not saying this man isn't, but for those of you picking on Carl or John, please get a grip. Three kids below school age and one adult in a boat is an accident waiting to happen. You couldn't control three kids of that age in your living room, what makes you think it'll be any different in a boat? If you don't agree, you may want to look into that "common sense" thing everyone is talking about.
  • by Maggie Location: Stanley on Jun 8, 2010 at 11:07 AM
    Well said Carl. I totally agree with you. What mother would agree to letting her three small children go out on a boat with one adult?
  • by ed Location: chippewa falls on Jun 8, 2010 at 10:32 AM
    I'm sure Carl's kid is sitting in front of the t.v. playing his new fishing game and pretending the couch is the boat. Getting kids outdoors as early as young as possible is great. Accidents happen.
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