DNR leading probe of fatal Walworth County canoe incident

Discussion in 'Outdoor News' started by Wisconsin DNR News, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. By Central Office January 4, 2016


    DNR Recreational Safety Warden Jason Roberts, [email protected]; Joanne Haas, DNR Bureau of Law Enforcement Public Information Officer, [email protected]

    Authorities today resumed searching for the bodies of two of the four men who died in a canoe mishap in Walworth County early Sunday, prompting the Walworth County Sheriff and Town of East Troy Police Department to request the Wis. Department of Natural Resources to lead the joint investigation.

    The bodies of two victims were recovered Sunday, Wis. Department of Natural Resources Recreational Safety Warden Jason Roberts said.

    The Walworth County Sheriff's Department and its medical examiner team have identified the two recovered victims as: Lanny Patrick Sack, 20, and Christopher J McQuillan, 21. The sheriff said all four individuals are from Illinois. The search continues today for the two additional missing individuals.

    Walworth County authorities are handling the process to identify the men and notify their families, and will release the names of the two remaining victims at the appropriate time. The Department of Natural Resources is leading the investigation to determine what happened.

    On Sunday, January 3, at approximately 11:15 a.m., Walworth County deputies and the Town of East Troy Police Department responded to a report of 4 missing adult males from a residence in the area of East Shore Drive and County Hwy J near Mill Lake in the Town of East Troy, Walworth County.

    The initial investigation led responders to search the waters of Mill Lake which is part of the Lake Beulah chain of lakes. A short time later, responders recovered the bodies of two adult males from the water.

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is leading the investigation assisted by Walworth County Sheriff, the Town of East Troy Police Department and the Walworth County Medical Examiner.

    The following agencies are assisting in the search:

    Waukesha County Sheriff's Office, Racine County Sheriff's Office, Air1, fire departments from East Troy, Mukwonago, Vernon, Elkhorn, Lake Geneva, North Prairie and the Town of Delavan and public works departments from Walworth County and the Town of East Troy.

    Officials offer these safety tips for anyone planning to enjoy Wisconsin's natural resources - notably activities around ice or open water -- during the winter.

    If you do go on the ice:

    • Dress warmly in layers.
    • Don't go alone. Head outwith friends or family. Take a cell phone if available, and make suresomeone knows where you are and when you are expected to return.
    • Know before you go.Don't travel in areas you are not familiar and don't travel at night orduring reduced visibility.
    • Avoid inlets, outlets ornarrow that may have current that can thin the ice.
    • Look for clear ice,which is generally stronger than ice with snow on it or bubbles in it.
    • Carry some basic safetygear: ice claws or picks, a cellphone in a waterproof bag or case, a lifejacket and length of rope.
    • Do not venture out ifyou have been enjoying alcoholic beverages.

    If you go through the ice:

    • Wear flotation garmentsthat provide buoyancy - such as a float coat or a life vest or a regularjacket.
    • Carry a set of ice awlsor picks in your pocket to help you climb out of the ice hole.
    • Once out of the icehole, do not stand up. Rather, walk on your forearms until the majority ofyour body is on solid surface.

    For more tips, the DNR also has information on its website about what to do should you fall through the ice and how to make ice claws. http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/outdoorrecreation/activities/icesafety.html

    UPDATE #1: DNR Warden Jason Roberts and Walworth County Sheriff say a third body was recovered at 2:33 p.m. today, Jan. 4, 2016. Identification is pending the Walworth County Medical Examiner notification process.


    Last Revised: Monday, January 04, 2016