Brian Eugene Harwick, saving dog, is electrocuted and drowns

Lake Pepin, the scene of a tragic Memorial Day weekend death

Lake Pepin, the scene of a tragic Memorial Day weekend death

Brian Eugene Harwick jumped into Lake Pepin over the weekend to rescue his sinking black Labrador Retriever. His beloved pet survived--but Harwick drowned during the rescue attempt.

Now, it looks like an electrical current from a boat lift on the private property may be to blame for Harwick's death.

"There was a malfunction with the boat lift," says Kris Weiss, administrative assistant to the Goodhue County Sheriff. "There is going to be an autopsy performed to make sure that was the cause of death."


The deadly event began around noon on Saturday, when Harwick's dog ran into the water over the boat lift. The dog received an electrical shock and began to sink.

A family friend entered the water to help the dog, but got shocked and scurried back to shore.

With the dog still in danger, Harwick jumped back into the water to help. He, too, was shocked--this time so badly that he fell unconscious into the water.

Harwick's friends and family pulled him out and gave him CPR. A family member or friend (the Goodhue County Sheriff did not keep a record of who) pulled the black Lab to safety.

But it was too late for Harwick. He died at Lake City Hospital.