62-year-old alone on camping trip found dead in water near canoe, Minnesota cops say

A 62-year-old man on a solo camping trip in northern Minnesota has been found dead near a partially sunken canoe, officials told news outlets.

The man, later identified as Duluth resident Mark Ham, was discovered in the water by a group of outdoorsmen at the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness before 5 p.m. Friday, May 10, the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office told Northern News Now.

The BWCA encompasses more than 1 million acres of forest, rivers and lakes — and 1,200 miles of canoe routes, according to the U.S. Forest Service, adding that the area “offers freedom to those who wish to pursue an experience of expansive solitude, challenge and personal integration with nature.”

Ham’s family told authorities he set out to the BWCA alone for a solo canoeing excursion, KSTP reported. His body was found close to a capsized canoe, on Lake Agnes, the sheriff’s office said.

Authorities say a life jacket was also found but Ham wasn’t wearing it, Fox News reported.

“With the opening of the Minnesota fishing season this weekend, the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office and Rescue Squad would like to remind everyone to please wear their life jackets while out on the water enjoying their favorite water recreations this summer,” the department said, the station reported.

Boundary Waters Canoe Area is roughly 100 miles north of Duluth.

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