ELY — Canoe Country Outfitters made the 911 call. A canoe overturned on the East Loon Bay Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. One man swam to shore. The other was missing.
It was around 11:41 a.m. on Monday when the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office received the call and joined its Rescue Squad, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Forest Service, Crane Lake Fire and First Responders and the Orr Ambulance in responding to Handberg’s Marine on Crane Lake for the water emergency on East Loon.
The men, Denis Guenther, 65, of Grand Junction, Colo., and Wayne Morrow, 73, of Fort Lupton, Colo., had been canoeing on the lake “when they encountered heavy rain and winds due to a severe storm passing through the area,” the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release on Tuesday.
“Their canoe capsized from a wave and they were thrown into the water,” the news release reads. “Guenther was able to swim to shore with their gear, while Morrow remained with the canoe. When Guenther returned to the canoe, Morrow was missing and presumed he had drowned.”
The Search and Rescue team used their ROV, or remotely operated vehicle equipment, to search for Morrow, whom they “found submerged in 61 feet of water,” the news release reads.
The men had life jackets, but did not wear them.
Both the Sheriff’s Office and the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office are investigating the incident.