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Teen Had Seizure Before Drowning in Minocqua-Area Lake

Minocqua Police Department Facebook

We now know a teenager had a seizure before he drowned on Mercer Lake in Minocqua on Sunday evening.

Eighteen-year-old Maxwell Pipp of Ixonia was riding a pontoon boat and swimming with friends when he went under the water.

Minocqua Police Chief Dave Jaeger explained what happened when emergency responders got there.

“Upon arrival, the subject had still not emerged yet, so the dive team was brought in and recovered the subject, attempted CPR. I believe the CPR was unsuccessful,” Jaeger said.

Oneida County Medical Examiner Crystal Schaub told WXPR Pipp had had a seizure in the water.

He was not wearing a life jacket.

Jaeger offered his condolences, saying the teenager had a lot of life ahead of him.

“This is a very unfortunate accident that happened,” he said. “I always try to tell everybody to take water safety seriously to try to avoid incidents like this from occurring.”

Several agencies helped the Minocqua Police Department with the response.

Update: An early version of this article stated Pipp went under while being towed by the boat, per the Minocqua Police Department. It's been updated to say he drowned after having a seizure as according to the Oneida County Medical Examiner and friends of the family. 

Ben worked as the Special Topics Correspondent at WXPR from September 2019 until November 2021. He then contributed with periodic stories until 2024. During his full-time employment, his main focus was reporting on environment and natural resources issues in northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula as part of The Stream, a weekly series.
Erin Gottsacker worked at WXPR as a Morning Edition host and reporter from December 2020 to January 2023. During her time at the station, Erin reported on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.
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