Death in cold water challenge prompts warning from Coast Guard

By KBJR News 1

May 13, 2014 Updated May 13, 2014 at 12:58 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- If you've logged onto Facebook recently you may have noticed plenty of Northlanders jumping into cold bodies of water to raise money for cancer research.
It's being called the cold water challenge and it may be responsible for the death of one Minnesota teen.

Earlier this month, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employee stopped a college aged student from jumping off near the Duluth Pier.
Her life may have been spared.

Meanwhile... on Friday 16 year old Davis Colley's body was pulled from Eagle Lake, just north of Norwood Young America, and authorities are investigating whether he may have been taking the cold water challenge.
While the viral trend may have raised some funds for some good causes, U.S. Coast Guard officials say the dangers are very real.
Officials say if people wish to jump in the lake, there are organized events with proper staff to assist lake jumpers.
A jump into cold waters can cause shock to the body.

"What happens is the shock to your system causes an involuntary gasp and what happens is if you jump off of an object into very deep water and your head is submerged, you will suck water into your lungs, blackout and then more than likely drown" said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Second Class, Alexander Hilll.

The Duluth Pier not only has a strong current, but also, once in the water, strength can be greatly diminished by the cold.

Last week a Michigan man was paralyzed after hitting a submerged rock while taking the Cold Water Challenge.

Bryce Henry
bhenry@kbjr.com

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.