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Man drowns in East Lake Okoboji saving son’s life

EAST LAKE OKOBOJI – A man drowned in East Lake Okoboji on Wednesday as he was saving his son’s life.

On August 4, 2021, at approximately 11:26 AM, the Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call on the west shore of East Lake Okoboji in the 16000 block of 255 Ave in the Francis Sites area of rural Spirit Lake. The call was for a male that was having trouble staying up and had gone underwater.

Brandon J Urban, age 41 of Omaha, Nebraska, had swam to his son’s location. His son had fallen off of a paddleboard and became entangled in weeds. Brandon Urban freed the boy from the weeds and then became entangled himself. He was unable to stay above water and went under. Urban was not wearing a life jacket. Friends of Urban were able to locate him underwater and brought him to shore. Lifesaving measures were administered on scene.

Urban was transported by ambulance to Lakes Regional Healthcare where lifesaving measures continued until he was pronounced dead.

The incident remains under investigation.

Responding agencies include:
Dickinson County Sheriff
LRH – Spirit Lake Ambulance
Spirit Lake First Responders
Spirit Lake Fire
Arnolds Park/Okoboji dive team
Arnolds Park/Okoboji fire boat
IA DNR – Lake Patrol

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