UPDATE: Missing boater identified after capsizing in Menominee River last month

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Marinette missing boater search_1556561642051.png.jpg

UPDATE: Missing boater identified after capsizing in Menominee River last month

WEDNESDAY 5/29/19 4:00 p.m. 

OCONTO, Wis. (WFRV) — The Marinette County Sheriff’s Office has released information about a deceased male that was found by a fisherman in the Bay of Green Bay, near the City of Oconto. 

The description of the man was consistent with the identity of missing person Benjamin Tart.

On Monday, April 29th, the Marinette County Sheriff’s were notified of a capsized boat in the Menominee River, adjacent to Stephenson Island. A man was rescued but the second occupant, Benjamin Tart, went missing and was presumed to have submerged in the river. 

Tart was identified by the Brown County Medical Examiner’s Office. 

The investigation is ongoing and is being conducted by multiple agencies. 

UPDATE: Search suspended for missing boater

MARINETTE, Wis. (WFRV) — The search for a missing boater has been suspended, according to the Marinette County Sheriff’s Department.

Officials state Benjamin Tart, Jr., 58, of Iron River, MI, is believed to have drowned. 

“The public and users of the Lower Menominee River are asked to be aware of this situation and call the Sheriff’s Office with any information or sighting of the missing person,” says the sheriff’s department in a press release.

Tart is described as 6′, 250 pounds and was last wearing outdoor “Carhartt” type clothing.

Search for missing boater continues into day two

TUESDAY 4/30/2019 3:27 p.m.

MARINETTE, Wis. (WFRV) — The search for a missing boater on the Menominee River continues into its second day.

Search crews were out on the water well into Monday evening and resumed again Tuesday around 9 a.m. At this time, they have only found debris. 

Crews have also been aided by local fishermen who have very sophisticated electronics to see into the water. The Wisconsin DNR is still using their side sonar as well. 

At this time, Stephenson Island is closed while the search continues. 

Man missing after boat capsizes on Menominee River

The Marinette County Highway Department says a man is missing after a boat he and another person were in capsized on the Menominee River.

Officials say they received word of a capsized boat around 10:23 Monday morning. The Marinette City Fire Department says they arrived on scene and found a person in the water near the Interstate Bridge on Hwy 41. Crews say they launched a boat and were able to pull that person from the river and transport him to the hospital.

The person rescued, a 21-year-old man was able to use a seat cushion to stay afloat. He says another man, his uncle, was in the boat with him at the time. Officials say the boat has been located, and a search is underway for the missing person.

The 21-year-old has been treated and released from the hospital.

Rescue crews are using side sonar to pinpoint a possible area where the man could be. 

This is a developing story. Stick will Local 5 on air and online as we bring you latest details as they’re made available.

“Water’s been high most of the year. The current’s been pretty strong,” said Craig Farr, a fisherman in Marinette. “But fishing has been good. Pretty much caught one every time I’ve been out here.”

He says the current has given him a scare before.

“Yeah, when you get a lure snagged and try to get it out,” he said. “Sometimes you step out just up to your knees, but you don’t really want to go any farther.”
They had almost every dam open, I think to let the water through and it’s higher than normal.”

“You’re talking shallow water, fast-moving current, and a lot of debris coming through that you can’t predict,” said Mike Marcusen, a fisherman from Menominee. “I mean, there’s big logs coming down through the gates. All kinds of stuff.”

On top of that, varying depths of water have made the search more difficult.
You can go from about six-to-eight feet and then drop off into a pocket that is 10-to-12 feet deep.

“There’s holes, there’s debris down there,” said Marinette Sheriff Jerry Suave. “It’s possible he’s hung up in the rocks, it’s possible the current’s washed him down further. We just don’t know.”

The search will continue on the Menominee River Tuesday morning.

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