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Sheriff’s Office: Body of missing Green Bay man recovered following boat capsize

People rescued from boat capsize
People rescued from boat capsize
Published: Jun. 14, 2021 at 5:09 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 4:54 PM CDT
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BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - UPDATE: Authorities say they have recovered the body of a missing man after the boat he was on capsized late Sunday night.

According to the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, the body of 28-year-old Jorge Bautista, of Green Bay, was found by two kayakers Monday at about 4 p.m.

The kayakers then notified law enforcement, who then recovered Bautista’s body.

Authorities say multiple departments searched most of the day on five boats, of which four had special sonar equipment to find Bautista. Search efforts continued at 9:30 a.m. after crews suspended the search at about 1 a.m.

Bautista was among seven people who were on a boat Sunday evening when it capsized.

Authorities say dispatchers received a report of a 16-foot boat capsized on the bay near Vincent Point - about five miles south of Bay Shore County Park- shortly before 9:30 p.m.

A 911 call stated the boat was taking on water and it had flipped. The Sheriff’s Office says heavy rain and strong winds at about 35-50 mph moved through at the time of the capsize. The waves were also between 8-10 feet high.

Rescue crews battled 8-10 foot waves while moving in the dark from the Metro Boat Launch, where they launched from.

The six other people on board at the time of the capsize, including a child, were rescued about two hours after the call came in.

Some members of the rescue crews told the Sheriff’s Office the conditions were the worst they have ever been in while on the boat.

No other details were immediately provided Monday evening.

Authorities have yet to identify the six others involved in the incident, or the boat’s owner.

INITIAL REPORT: A man is missing after a boat capsized in high waves on the Bay of Green Bay Sunday night.

Six others were rescued and taken to a hospital for medical treatment. Investigators have not identified the missing man, but they say he’s in his mid-20s.

The Brown County Sheriff’s Office was not able to provide information on the relationship between the missing man and the boat’s owner.

Authorities say the boat began taking on water before capsizing, and some of those who were rescued were seen sitting on the boat, or clinging to it.

The Brown County Sheriff’s Office is leading the recovery effort. Rescue boats are making loops along the shore and using sonar.

Due to rescuers using a unique grid pattern, Lt. Scott Vande Voort of the Brown County Sheriff’s Office says they don’t need help with recovery from the public, saying others will get in the way.

On Sunday, at 9:25 p.m., Brown County dispatchers received a report of a 16-foot boat capsized on the bay near Vincent Point.

That’s about five miles south of Bay Shore County Park.

A 911 call stated the boat was taking on water and it had flipped. The Sheriff’s Office says heavy rain and strong winds at about 35-50 mph moved through at the time of the capsize. The waves were also between 8-10 feet high.

A witness who lives near Vincent Point saw the boat flip and saw people clinging to the vessel.

The Sheriff’s Office is still looking into how many life jackets were on the boat, however they add a five-year-old on board did have a life jacket on. The child, as well as five adults, were rescued once crews reached them at 11:22 p.m., about two hours after the call was placed.

Rescue crews battled 8-10 foot waves while moving in the dark from the Metro Boat Launch, where they launched from.

Some members of the rescue crews told the Sheriff’s Office the conditions were the worst they have ever been in while on the boat.

Seven people were on the boat that capsized Sunday.
Seven people were on the boat that capsized Sunday.(WBAY)

Local rescue boats and the U.S. Coast Guard helicopter from Traverse City, Mich. all responded to the search.

Search efforts were suspended for the seventh person at about 1 a.m. It started again at 9:30 Monday morning. New Franken Fire, Green Bay Metro Fire and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are assisting.

Authorities add the Wisconsin DNR will recover the boat.

Crews will be out for as long as conditions allow Monday, and are made of five to six boats, as well as dive teams in case they see something.

Search crews will be using a side scan sonar, which scans the bottom for any abnormalities. Authorities say they will send a rover down that the dive team has to identify the object, and then send a crew down.

The Sheriff’s Office says to always be aware of how many passengers your boat can hold, and also stress having proper safety equipment on board - such as a fire extinguisher and flares - as well as a enough life jackets.

Action 2 News will continue to update this story.

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