Seven members of a Boy Scout troop and a guide were rescued late Thursday after they capsized in the Boundary Waters near the Canadian border.
Justin Mayne, captain of Lake County Rescue, said rescuers found five children and three adults separated into two groups on Basswood Lake north of Ely.
After receiving a call at 4:20 p.m. Thursday, responders found three people within 30 minutes, he said. The other five were found a half hour later.
"The conditions were very rough yesterday; we had winds definitely gusting in the 40s, it was rainy and very overcast, the lake was very choppy," Mayne said. "So it was very unfavorable weather for being out there canoeing."
More than two dozen people from several agencies responded with boats, a float plane and a state helicopter.
They were traveling in two canoes across an open expanse of Basswood Lake.
"They were definitely in the biggest, roughest part of the lake," Mayne said.
Six of the eight were flown out on a U.S. Fish and Wildlife float plane. Two others were taken out in a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources boat. Rescuers transported the canoeists to an Ely hospital, where doctors examined them.
"There was definitely some mild hypothermia, with the temperature and the water temperature," Mayne said. "They were a little wet and cold, but beyond that they weren't too worse for the wear."
Mayne says all eight wore life jackets.
"Without those life vests they could have had a very different outcome," he said.