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Search for boaters, boat continues

Vessel capsized near Lower Entry of Keweenaw Waterway; three fishermen rescued, two missing

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette A U.S. Coast Guard boat searches for missing boaters at White Pine Saturday afternoon. The site is near the Lower Entry of the Keweenaw Waterway, where searchers believe the capsized boat is located.

KEWEENAW BAY — The search continued Sunday for two fishermen missing after their boat capsized Saturday.

The 21-foot boat was reported missing near an area of Second Sand Beach in Baraga County shortly after noon Saturday, the Michigan State Police Calumet Post said in a release. Five people had been on the boat when it sank; three of the five were rescued by another boat near the area that responded to the scene.

The boat and the two boaters were still missing as of Sunday afternoon. No names have been released.

At the time of the accident, they had been participating in the Keweenaw Bay Classic Fishing Tournament, the Baraga County Next Gen Team said in a Facebook post Sunday. Many boats in the tournament pivoted to searching for the fishermen.

Cellphone and sonar pings helped to narrow the boat’s location to somewhere by the Lower Entry of the Keweenaw Waterway, Boatswain’s Mate 1 Michael Armstrong of U.S. Coast Guard Station Portage said Sunday.

Waves of 1 to 2 feet were recorded around the time of the incident, with “very choppy” waters, Armstrong said.

Troopers from the MSP Calumet Post responded along with deputies from Houghton and Baraga County sheriff’s departments.

The U.S. Coast Guard provided a helicopter from Traverse City and a boat from Station Portage. MSP’s Marine Services Unit also responded to the scene. The MSP dive team was using their sonar Sunday, said MSP Lt. Mark Gianunnzio.

The initial search area covered a wide span, Armstrong said. Boats were out from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, while the helicopter made two passes. The boat search area spanned from Jacobsville, Point Abbaye and Assinins. Debris from the boat, such as gloves and coolers, was found from an area going from the Lower Entry to Second Sand Beach, Armstrong said.

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