UPDATE: State Patrol Helicopter assisting in search for missing Winona boater

The body of the missing boater has since been found. The updated story can be found here.


Update: Winona County Sheriff Ron Ganrude said a State Patrol Helicopter is assisting in Saturday’s search for the Winona boater who went missing Friday night.

Ganrude said that two boaters were fishing when they were pulled over the spillway at Prairie island by swift waters, and then the boat took on water and capsized. He said the younger of the two men was able to hold onto the boat until he was rescued by other boaters, but the 63-year-old missing man was not seen after the accident. Neither men were wearing life jackets at the time of the accident, according to Ganrude.

Ganrude said the search was called off last night when it became too dark to continue, but crews will keep searching until they find the missing man.

“We’re focused where he was last seen but also on the area below it. Last night we went until 10:30 p.m., so we’ll do that again tonight if we have to, and we’ll start again tomorrow morning if we have to,” said Ganrude.

The missing man’s family members were on the scene during the search, and Ganrude said they were shocked by the accident.

Original Story: The Winona County Sheriff’s Office has released a statement saying they are searching for a person who went missing Friday evening after a report of a boat that overturned

According to the statement, Winona County Dispatch was alerted to a boat in distress at the Prairie Island Spillway at 7:24 p.m. Friday.

The Winona County Sheriff’s Office, Winona Police Department, to Winona Fire Department, Winona County Dive Rescue, Minnesota DNR, Federal Fish and Wildlife, Goodview Fire, Pickwick Fire and Winona County Emergency Management responded to the incident, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office says crews found one person had been rescued by a passing boat when they arrived, but a 63-year-old male was still missing. The search went on until 10:30 p.m Friday, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The search started again at 6 a.m. Saturday, with searchers from the Winona County Sheriff’s Office, Winona County Dive Rescue, Minnesota DNR, Federal Fish and Wildlife, Goodview Fire, Pickwick Fire, Wisconsin DNR, Bruce’s Legacy, Minnesota-Wisconsin K9 Search and Rescue and Winona County Emergency Management, according to the statement.

The Sheriff’s Office says the Prairie island Boat Landing is closed, and they ask that people avoid the area to let the searchers work.

This is an ongoing situation, and we’ll have more information when it becomes available.

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