Two boaters found safe after wife reports them missing in Nekoosa

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 1:49 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2023 at 6:55 PM CST
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NEKOOSA, Wis. (WSAW) - Two men were found safe on Thursday after being reported missing on the Wisconsin River in Nekoosa.

Multiple departments were called to the area of Riverside Park in Nekoosa around 11:30 a.m. for a report of two missing boaters. The Nekoosa Fire Chief told Newschannel 7 that a woman reported her husband and a friend had been missing since Wednesday night.

Crews from 12 area agencies responded to help with the search. They used multiple boats, a drone pilot from Pittsville, a DNR airplane, and the LifeLink helicopter.

“We have Mavis Cards which is a mutual aid box alarm system and we called for a water rescue card through Wood County Dispatch, and that got us the vast majority of agencies that we had on scene here today,” said Nekoosa Fire Chief Mike Hartje.

The men were on the river in a canoe searching for fishing lures and wood. After the woman could not get in touch with the men, and they didn’t show up for work Thursday, she made contact with the Nekoosa Fire Department who immediately began searching for them.

Hartje said the men were found on bicycles on the other side of the river on Cty Highway Z just before 1 p.m.