June 24, 2002

Camper Collapses on BWCAW Portage

On June 14, 2002, an ambulance was requested at the US Forest Service Seagull Guard Station for a Crystal, Minnesota man who had collapsed with a suspected heart attack in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).  The ambulance transported Robert James Hampton, 51, to the Cook County North Shore Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Hampton had been camping with his three adult children--Jessica, Andrew, and Robert since June 11 at Clove Lake.  He fell ill while swimming on the afternoon of June 14 and told his family he had a tingling feeling in his arms.  They were concerned for his welfare and at approximately 3:00 p.m. they left Clove Lake.  Between 3:30 and 4:00, Hampton passed out on a portage.

The Gunflint Ambulance met the family at the Seagull Guard Station, began CPR and transported Hampton to the Cook County North Shore Hospital.  He never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at 6:32 p.m.

An autopsy will be performed, however.  Cook County Sheriff Deputy Paul Spry reported that no foul play is suspected.

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