West St. Paul man drowns in St. Croix River

People standing on the shore of the St. Croix River saw a West St. Paul man go under water while he was swimming July 6. They told police he called for help, became submerged and didn't come back up.

Deputies from multiple counties, the Hastings Fire Department and the Washington County dive and rescue team were summoned to Point Douglas Beach in Denmark Township, near Hastings, just after 5 p.m., due to a report of a possible drowning, according to a statement issued by the Washington County Sheriff's Department. Other beach visitors had already searched for him without success.

At about 6:20 p.m., a rescue team diver found the body of the victim, later identified by the Ramsey County medical examiner's office as Juan Gabrial Diaz, 40.

He was found within the designated swimming area, where the water was about 10 feet deep. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office is waiting for the final medical examiner's report.

--Kaitlyn Roby


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