Coast Guard Called In To Assist In Search On Lake Winnebago

The seach continues this morning for two people reported missing on Lake Winnebago. The Fond du Lac CountyDispatch Center received a 911 call Monday, March 29, 2021, at 8:28pm, from one of two individuals in distress in a canoe on Lake Winnebago.  And according to a press release issued by Fond du Lac County Sheriff Ryan Waldschmidt, they were located approximately one mile north of the Fond du Lac River outlet, straight north of Lakeside West.  

At the time of the call, both victims were still in the canoe, however shortly after placing the 911 call they were thrown from the canoe into the water.  Neither victim was wearing a personal flotation device but cell phone communication continued for several more minutes before the call disconnected.   

Assistance at the scene included the Sheriff’s Office patrol deputies, a rescue boat and operators from the Sheriff’s Office Boat Patrol and Water Rescue Team, Fond du Lac Police Department officers, Wisconsin DNR wardens, Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue personnel, and a helicopter from the US Coast Guard out of Traverse City, Michigan.  

Nearly five hours into a search of the lake from land, water, and air, rescuers have not been able to locate either victim. South winds of 25mph gusting to 40mph, 42 degree Fahrenheit water temperature, waves of four to five feet, and low Lake Winnebago water levels that caused the rescue boat to strike bottom numerous times all made for very dangerous lake conditions for both the victims and rescuers.  

A search effort continued well into the early morning hours, and additional vessels and aircraft will continue searching after daylight. At this time the identities of the victims are not being released.   

As of 1:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, the matter was still considered a search and rescue mission. The identities of the missing boaters have not been released and very few details were given.

This remains a very active situation and KFIZ News will continue to monitor it and get you the latest details as they become available.