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Teen dies after being pulled from rain-swollen river in Duluth

The 15-year-old boy who was pulled from the rain-swollen Lester River in Duluth on Saturday evening has died, authorities said early Sunday.

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office reported that Will Schlotec of Duluth was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The sheriff's office and Duluth Fire Department reported that Schlotec had failed to resurface while jumping into the water in the area known as "the Deeps" in Lester Park.

He had no pulse, and CPR was underway, when he was transported to St. Luke's hospital after being underwater for more than 15 minutes, Duluth Fire Department Assistant Chief Erik Simonson reported.

The fire department and St. Louis County Sheriff's Office reported that authorities were called to the Deeps on Amity Creek at about 5:22 p.m. Saturday on a report that a boy had jumped into the water and did not resurface.

Rescue crews searched the river from the Deeps downstream to where Amity Creek meets the Lester River, and then down to Lake Superior. At about 5:40 p.m., the boy was located in the Lester River several blocks downstream from the Deeps in the vicinity of the railroad bridge, just downstream from the Superior Street bridge, Simonson said.

Schlotec was brought out of the ravine using ropes, and CPR was initiated, Simonson said.

Local creeks and streams were running high Saturday after an all-day rain that totaled nearly 3 inches in some locations, according to Western Lake Superior Sanitary District rainfall data. Conditions in the vicinity of the Deeps for rescuers were "really bad," Simonson said Sunday evening. The water was "running high. It's incredibly fast. There's a lot of debris."

Saturday's incident was the second of the summer at the Deeps; in June, a 22-year-old man was pulled from the water by friends after being knocked unconscious while jumping into the creek. The man later regained consciousness and was treated for a laceration to the back of his head, authorities said at the time.

The Deeps is a popular swimming spot but is not sanctioned, and has been the scene of a number of incidents in the past. In 2011, a 13-year-old boy was swept away by the current of the stream and drowned; other rescues in recent years have involved people who hit rocks after jumping into the creek.

The Duluth Police Department, St. Louis County Rescue Squad, U.S. Coast Guard and Gold Cross Ambulance also responded to Saturday's incident.

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