Two dead, two missing after canoe accident in East Troy

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Nick Crow
January 3, 2016

TOWN OF EAST TROY — Two bodies have been recovered and officials will resume searching today for two others after four men were reported missing in the town of East Troy.

Jason Roberts, recreational safety warden for Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Southeast region, said that four men from Illinois between the ages of 20 and 23 were visiting a lake house with others on Lake Beulah when at around 2:30 a.m. the four went outside to smoke cigarettes.

In the process of going outside, other people at the lake house went to sleep. Friends awoke around 9 a.m. Sunday morning and noticed that those who went to smoke were missing. The friends saw tracks to the boathouse and found wallets and cellphones of those missing left on shore. They also noticed a canoe was missing, Roberts said.

The friends saw that the canoe was overturned in the lake and contacted emergency personnel, he said.

The water on the lake, sometimes referred to as Mill Pond by locals, was measured at 34 degrees, Roberts said. Dive teams from East Troy and Delavan searched for the remaining two people until 8 p.m. Sunday night. Roberts said the crews would begin searching once again Monday at 7 a.m.

The search is a recovery rather than a rescue, he said.

The canoe that was used was a 14-foot canoe built for a maximum of three people, Roberts said. There is no evidence that those involved had life jackets or flotation devices, and the men recovered weren't dressed in clothing typical for cold weather paddling, he said.

Alcohol was involved in the incident, he said.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is leading the investigation. The Walworth County Medical Examiner's office will release the name of those involved at a later date, Roberts said.

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