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Search continued Monday for missing Tainter fisherman

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX —  Crews continued searching for a fourth day on Monday for a man who may have drowned on Tainter Lake after his jon boat overturned.

The Dunn County Sheriff’s Department reports that on Thursday, July 3, at nearly 11 p.m., the Dunn County Communications Center received a 911 call pertaining to an overturned boat on Tainter Lake north of county Highway D in the Town of Tainter.

The caller advised the command center that a white male approximately 30 years old had been observed fishing from the boat earlier in the evening around 8:30 p.m. near where the overturned boat was located.

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

According to the news release, the boat was powered with a trolling motor.

State law requires that if any kind of motor is used on a boat, the boat must be registered with the DNR.

The Dunn County Sheriff’s Department, the Menomonie Fire Department and the state Department of Natural Resources launched an extensive search at that location Friday night but were unable to find anyone who may have been operating the boat when it flipped over, according to the news release from the sheriff’s department.

After checking the boat landings for vehicles, sheriff’s deputies went door to door in the area around Tainter Lake, trying to determine if anyone was missing, the news release says.

Crews searched Tainter Lake again on Friday using sonar and dragging equipment.

Dunn County Sheriff Dennis Smith was quoted in news reports as saying that it was possible the person could have swam to shore and walked home.

Crews continued searching Tainter Lake on Saturday but still did not find anyone.

A strong wind out of the southeast on Saturday caused choppy waves that made it difficult for search boats to remain in one spot.

A volunteer search group from Black River Falls joined the DNR and the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department on Sunday but still did not find anyone, although according to news reports, Sheriff Smith said they found a trolling motor, a battery and a fishing tackle box.

Once again on Monday, crews continued searching Tainter Lake.

Sheriff Smith was quoted as saying that a missing persons report might not be filed until someone did not return home from the July 4th weekend or did not show up at work Monday morning.

A telephone call by the Colfax Messenger to the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department at shortly before noon on Monday revealed that crews were still searching the lake but had not yet found a body in the water or any other information to clear up the mystery of what had happened to the operator of the jon boat.

Anyone who has any information about the identity of the fisherman — or information regarding the incident — is urged to the call the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department at (715) 232-1348.