CONTINUING COVERAGE: Subjects of river search not identified

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (EAU CLAIRE POLICE DEPARTMENT NEWS RELEASE) - On Tuesday, April 30, 2013, at 1:38 p.m., the Eau Claire Communication Center dispatched Eau Claire Police Department and Eau Claire Fire/Rescue personnel to the Chippewa River south of the Short Street Bridge for a kayaker in distress in the water.

Upon arrival the kayaker was located on the east shore of the river near Short Street. The kayaker advised that while paddling upstream he observed two males hanging onto the underside of a capsized canoe that was rapidly floating downstream. The kayaker threw a rope to the canoeists in an attempt to rescue them. During this time, the kayaker’s kayak also overturned. At that point the kayaker lost sight of the males as their canoe continued downstream.

The canoeists were described as two white males, approximately 20 years of age. The canoe was described as possibly a silver aluminum canoe; however, the circumstances and conditions at the time made it difficult to establish clear descriptions of either.

Eau Claire Fire/Rescue, Township Fire/Rescue and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources have all participated in the water search and rescue efforts, while a Mayo Clinic helicopter assisted from the air. Eau Claire Police Department and Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Department personnel also assisted in this effort from the ground.

The Eau Claire Police Department has attempted to identify the canoeists; however, at this time their identities have not been determined. Anyone who was on the river yesterday afternoon or has information regarding the identities of the canoeists is asked to contact Eau Claire Police Department Detective Sgt. Mark Pieper at 715-839-6217.
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)--Eau Claire Fire and Rescue says crews will be back out on the Chippewa River Wednesday afternoon to continue the search for two missing canoeists. Crews suspended the search shortly before seven Tuesday night.

Fire Battalion Chief, Bryon Benson, tells us the DNR from Dunn County is also putting out a boat to help search Wednesday.
Crews will start the search at the Short Street Bridge all the way up to the rest area near Highway 85.

The search started Tuesday afternoon. Fire and Rescue crews say they are searching for two males who they believe were canoeing when they went under the water.

More than a dozen searchers from Eau Claire and Township Fire Departments, as well as a Mayo Two pilot searched by land, water and air on Tuesday. The search stretched from the Hobbs boat landing to Caryville.

Firefighters tell us they did find a life jacket, but aren't sure if its the canoeists.


EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)--Fire and rescue crews say the search for the two males who are believe to be in the water will start again Wednesday morning. More than a dozen searchers from Eau Claire and Township Fire Departments as well as a Mayo Two pilot searched by land, water and air Tuesday.

The search stretched from the Hobbs boat landing to Caryville. Firefighters tell us they did find a life jacket, but aren't sure if it belongs to the canoeists. They did not find a canoe Tuesday.

The kayaker told us off camera that the canoeists seemed to be college age men. Eau Claire officers want anyone with information on the two missing boaters to call police at (715) 839-4972.

Stay with and WEAU 13 News for any developments on the search.
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – Rescue crews say they have five boats and a helicopter to help with the search for two missing canoeists in the Chippewa River

Eau Claire Fire Division Chief John Schultz tells WEAU 13 News that the canoe the two males were in flipped, and a kayaker in the area tried to rescue them. His kayak flipped, but he was able to get out of the water safely.

There are also crews searching on foot near the Eau Claire Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Officer Kyle Roder with the Eau Claire Police Department says crews responded to the river around 1:40 p.m. Tuesday. He says the people in the canoe are “figured to be in their 20’s,” and that the kayaker tried to throw a rope to them, but may have capsized his boat in the process. He was able to swim to shore.

Roder says when the kayaker saw the two people, the canoe was already overturned, and they were hanging onto it. He describes the canoe as a silver, aluminum-type boat.

If you have specific information on two people matching the description of the subjects of the search who put a canoe in the Chippewa River today, you’re asked to call (715) 839-4972.
UPDATE: Eau Claire Police tell WEAU 13 News Reporter Kevin Hurd that crews are looking for two male canoeists in the river.

Watch for a live update tonight on WEAU 13 News at 5.
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – Rescue crews say they are in the midst of “water operations” on the Chippewa River.

A battalion chief at the Eau Claire Fire Department did not say who crews are looking for, and that they may end up at the Hobbs boat landing near Menomonie Street. Our photographer at the scene says crews could be seen in boats on the river. A kayaker has also told us that he was trying to help find two people in a canoe that went under the water.

We’ll bring you more information as it becomes available.

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