Search for kayaker ongoing

Ontonagon man, 74, last seen Friday

Press release

ONTONAGON — The search continued Monday for a kayaker reported missing Friday afternoon in Ontonagon Township.

In a Monday news release, the Michigan State Police identified the man believed to be the kayaker as Dale Venema, 74, of Ontonagon.

He was reported missing around 2:15 p.m. Friday by a resident who saw an upside-down kayak on Lake Superior near the Firesteel River area. The man had seen a kayaker paddling the same kayak out to the lake around 1 p.m.

Negaunee Regional Dispatch contacted the U.S. Coast Guard, which sent a boat to the site. Troopers from the MSP Wakefield Post were sent to the area and began helping to coordinate search efforts.

Agencies assisting with this incident are the Ontonagon County Sheriff’s Department, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Service. Coast Guard assets were also used in the search. The Ontonagon harbormaster, employees of the Village of Ontonagon, and several residents have also provided aid. The Michigan State Police Dive Team was also contacted to assist.

Search efforts continued through the weekend and remain ongoing.


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