Boater found safe, doesn't know how boat capsized - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Boater found safe, doesn't know how boat capsized

Updated:
Dunn Co. (News Release) - On July 3, at about 10:56 p.m., the Dunn County E-9-1-1 Center received a report that a boat was capsized on Upper Tainter Lake in the Town of Tainter. Deputies from the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office, firefighters from the Menomonie Fire Department and a Wisconsin DNR warden responded to the scene. An extensive search of the area was conducted and they were not able to locate anyone.

During the water search, deputies went door-to-door to contact local residents around the lake in the area where the boat was located. Deputies asked if anyone had information about the type of boat that was in the water and asked if anyone knew of anyone on the lake for any reason at that time. They however found no one with information about a possible victim in this incident and they were asked to call if they heard any related information.

On July 4, 5, 6 & 7, members of the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office, the Menomonie Fire Department, the Wisconsin DNR and the Dunn County M.E. Office searched the area by boat, using side mounted sonar and underwater cameras. On Sunday July 6, the Dunn County sheriff called in Bruce’s Legacy, a volunteer search and recovery team from Black River Falls to help with the search for a possible drowning victim. The search crews were on the water Sunday from 8:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. and did not locate anything related to this incident.

After reviewing the progress of the investigation, crews decided to request the assistance of an air plane. The Wisconsin State Patrol offered the services of their airplane and pilot. Arrangements were made and the search was conducted with nothing being located.

While the air search was taking place, crews continued the investigation on land trying to locate persons that may have been in the boat at the time it capsized. Authorities learned information regarding a 38-year-old male, named Jacob Wyss, of rural Boyceville, and that he may own a boat matching the description of the boat located in the water. Crews also learned that he may be staying part time in the area where the boat was located and deputies also felt that he could match the physical description of the person seen fishing the evening of July 3.

Monday afternoon, authorities attempted to make contact with Jacob Wyss in an attempt to verify information we received. He was not found at home near the lake initially, but a message was left. Eventually Wyss contacted the sheriff’s office and after he was provided some photos of the boat, he felt the boat was his. He however said he had not left it capsized in the lake and claimed to not have any knowledge of how it ended up there. Wyss however agreed to meet with a Dunn County Sheriff’s Deputy so that he could positively identify the boat.

Monday night at about 10 p.m., Jacob Wyss met with a Dunn County Sheriff’s Deputy and he identified the boat as his. He admitted talking to the complainants at the time he was reported seen in the boat. He stated that he quit fishing about 10 minutes later and returned to his part-time residence. He tied the boat up and does not know how it got back to the location where it was located.

Since Wyss claims to not be the one to have tipped the boat over, periodic searches will still take place over the next several days.

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Dunn Co. (WQOW) -
 The Dunn County Sheriff's Office and others spent Monday searching high and low for answers.Crews resumed search efforts for a man whose boat overturned Thursday night on Tainter Lake, north of County Road D in Dunn County.

Sheriff Dennis Smith, from the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office, said, "The Wisconsin State Patrol volunteered to fly over. We've searched by boat and watching up into the grass to see if there's anything where someone could have crawled up there."

Trooper John Vernon, from the Wisconsin State Patrol, said, "With the sun up high, it actually helped a little bit, but because the water was pretty brown, it was hard to see into the water and to see anything floating or underneath the surface."

On Monday, the Dunn County Sheriff's Office received new information from some residents who say they saw the boater before his boat overturned.

Sheriff Smith said, "The person that was seen was about a 30-year-old, male, white, short brown hair and a mustache. One report said that the guy had a plaid shirt, a button up shirt. And someone else said there was a logo on the back of one of the shirts. And so, I called the company that might have that logo and they're not missing anybody today."

Crews said this incident is unusual since it's been four days since the incident and still there has been no sign of the boater.

Sheriff Smith said, "I think we've done all the things that we could do at this particular point. We're going to keep trying to check. Like I said, if there's somebody in the water, hopefully they will surface and then we would be able to find and recover the body. If there's not, we'd like to find out who it was that left the boat there, and just took off and left it.

The sheriff's office said the person operating the boat may live somewhere near Tainter Lake, but no missing person has been reported. They said the boat didn't have a hull number or registration.

If you have information, you’re asked to call the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office at: 715-232-1348.

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Dunn Co. (WQOW) - It's day four and there's still no sign of a boater crews in Dunn County have been searching for.

The Dunn County Sheriff's Office and other agencies spent the day searching Tainter Lake for a man who they believe is missing.

The initial call came in Thursday night. The sheriff's office was alerted of an overturned boat found on the lake, north of County Road D. The person who called in said they had seen a white man, about 30-years-old fishing from the boat earlier Thursday evening.

The sheriff's office said the person operating the boat may live somewhere near Tainter Lake, but no missing person has been reported.

They said the boat didn't have a hull number or registration. If you have information you’re asked to call the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office at 715-232-1348

The sheriff's office said it plans to continue its efforts Monday morning at 9 a.m.

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Dunn Co. (WQOW) - Another day of searching and still no sign of a possible missing boater. The Dunn County Sheriff's Office said it first got the report Thursday night, and there are still many unknowns.

Sheriff Dennis Smith, from the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office, said, "Today, the weather is quite windier. The water is pretty choppy, a lot harder to do the work and harder to stay in the same place."

Crews were busy combing the waters of Tainter Lake on Saturday morning with sonar and dragging equipment. But so far, their efforts have turned up empty.

Sheriff Smith said, "Other than that we just don't know what we could do. We don't have anyone that has been reported missing in the area. Nobody has called us and told us anything about that."

Crews from the Dunn County Sheriff's Office, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Menomonie Fire Department are searching the lake for a man, whose boat overturned Thursday.

Sheriff Smith said, "Yesterday we talked to a lot of boaters and the lake was covered with a bunch of boats for the 4th of July, so if something was floating, I think we would have saw it yesterday and somebody would have located a body."

While officials are uncertain whether the man swam to safety or drowned, they said the shallow, 12 foot boat could have been enough to tip him overboard.

Sheriff Smith said, "There's really not much for current, so we don't think there'd be much movement for the body, if there was a body in the water. It would most likely stay in one spot and stay there until it warms up."

Crews said this incident is unusual, especially since no one has come forward.

Sheriff Smith said, "I'm guessing if they don't show up for work on Monday, or they don't get home and check-in with their family or something, that we might hear something about somebody that didn't return home, but as of right now, we don't have that."

The sheriff's office said the person operating the boat may live somewhere near Tainter Lake, but no missing person has been reported.

They said the boat had no hull number or registration. If you have information, you’re asked to call the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office at: 715-232-1348.

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Dunn Co. (WQOW) - Law enforcement searched a Dunn County Lake on Friday for a possible missing boater but say they are uncertain whether the man drowned or swam to safety.

Sheriff Dennis Smith, from the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office said, "They located an overturned boat on upper Lake Tainter, and they searched from 11:30 p.m. to about 3:30 a.m. this morning. And, they had been out checking the water ways, seeing if they can find anything floating in the water."

The search is running dry for a possible missing boater on Tainter Lake, north of County Road D in Dunn County. The initial report came in Thursday night just before 11 p.m.

Sheriff Smith said, "There was a male seen fishing in a boat in that area some time before the boat was found. So we would believe it is a 30-year old, middle aged, male subject. They have been going door to door, first at the businesses then they have been going to the houses telling people about the boat that has been found."

On Friday morning, three boats with sonar equipment were launched in the lake, but crews haven't found anything.

Sheriff Smith said, "It's a possibility that the person swam to shore and walked home or left the area with their own vehicle and got out of the area waiting to come back today to get the boat."

Aside from recovering the 12 foot boat, crews found fishing gear and a cardboard beer box.

Sheriff Smith said, "We have no knowledge that the person would have been drinking. Since there was some beer there, it's possible. But since it was in the water, we don't know if it came from this boat or if it came from some place else."

Crews plan to continue search and rescue efforts Saturday morning.

The sheriff's office said the person operating the boat may live somewhere near Tainter Lake, but no missing person has been reported. They said the boat had no hull number or registration. If you have information, you’re asked to call the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office at: 715-232-1348.


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PRESS RELEASE FROM DUNN COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT:

On July 3, 2014 at 10:56 PM the Dunn County Communications Center received a 911 call reporting an overturned boat found on Tainter Lake north of County Road D in Tainter Township.  The person making the report had seen a white male approximately 30 years old fishing from the boat around 8:30 PM near where the overturned boat was found.

Dunn County Deputies, Menomonie Fire Department and the Wisconsin DNR responded to the location and after an extensive search were unable to locate anyone who may have been operating the boat when it overturned.

Officers have been unable to identify any persons missing or not returning home from fishing on Tainter lake after going door to door in the area and after checking the boat landings.

It is suspected that the person operating the boat may reside somewhere in the vicinity on Tainter Lake as the boat was a small 12 foot jon boat powered with an electric trolling motor.

The boat is a light green, Triton brand, 12 foot jon boat.  The boat had no hull number or registration.

The search for the operator of the boat will resume Friday morning July 4, 2014.

If anyone would have any information regarding the identity of the operator of the above boat or

any information regarding this incident please contact the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office at 715-232-1348.
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