Kayaker dies after craft takes on water.A kayaker from southern Minnesota is dead after he turned up missing on Lake Superior.
A kayaker from southern Minnesota is dead after he turned up missing on Lake Superior.
According to a news release issued by the Bayfield County Sheriff’s Department, the man was reported missing around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. He had been last seen between Little Sand Bay and Sand Island, about 1 ½ miles north of the bay on the northern edge of Bayfield County in Russell. The area is part of the Apostle Island National Lake Shore.
According to the Bayfield Sheriff’s Department:
Four college friends were going to kayak to Sand Island from Little Sand Bay. About two-thirds of the way to the island, one of the kayaks started taking on water in the four foot waves and then became submerged causing the kayaker to leave his vessel.
The other kayakers in the group turned around to assist and while turning, another kayak capsized. This kayaker directed the other two to assist the first person, which they did by having him hang onto one of the boats as it headed to the shore of Sand Island.
At some point, they lost sight of the second kayaker. Once on shore, one of the kayakers returned to the mainland to get help.
A water and shoreline search was started and a rescue boat was sent to Sand Island to retrieve the two kayakers there. Around 8 p.m. the Coast Guard reported they had located the missing kayaker, and they were starting CPR.
The victim was transported to Little Sand Bay where the Ashland Paramedics and Life Link III medical crew, and the Red Cliff Ambulance EMTs, continued resuscitation efforts unsuccessfully.
The Bayfield County coroner believes the death was caused by hypothermia. The water temperature was around 47 degrees.
The deceased was wearing a life jacket and had attempted to get into his wet suit which he had with him.
The name of the victim and others involved are not being released at this time pending notification of relatives. Two of the men were brothers.
The Bayfield Fire and Ambulance; U.S. Coast Guard; National Park Service; Red Cliff Police, Fire and Ambulance; Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Life Link III medical helicopter; Ashland Fire Paramedics; a private plane and deputies from the sheriff’s office all responded to the call.