August 20, 2018 10:00 PM
Authorities in Wisconsin are still searching for the second of two Minnesota men who had been boating on Lake Wissota in Chippewa County Saturday afternoon and failed to return to their campground.
A release from the Chippewa County Sheriff's Department said the body of the first man, identified Monday as Travis Cramer, 50, from Coon Rapids, was discovered around 12:30 p.m. Sunday attached to the rope of a rubber tube found near the buoys at the Hydro Dam.
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The pontoon was registered to Cramer. A passerby noticed the pontoon had run aground on the north end of the lake near the Hydro Dam, no one was on the boat, except for a dog.
The Chippewa County Sheriff James Kowalczyk said it's not clear what caused the mishap, "there are no witnesses, nobody has come forward to say this happened or that happened....the early thinking is this is a boating accident with a tube towed or a swimming accident."
Authorities made contact with Cramer's mother who said her son and Robinson were boating on the lake Saturday and had failed to return to their campground that night.
Around an hour later, Cramer was discovered. But authorities were still searching for the second man on Monday. The Sheriff said crews found life vests on the pontoon, but nothing that could explain why Cramer drown and where Robinson went under or why.
The sheriff's office turned to the seasoned search and recovery team Bruce's Legacy. That's the name of a highly specialized boat that uses a lime green piece of sonar equipment to serve as a set of eyes under the surface. Keith Cormican operates the vessel he named after his brother who drowned in an accident in 1995.
"This is a big lake," Cormican said. "There's not much information to go on and so much time has gone by. This is one of our most difficult ones to search."
Cormican said Bruce's Legacy has located 26 drowning victims over the past five years.
Anyone who may have seen the pontoon on the lake Saturday, or has information that might aid the investigation, is asked to call the sheriff's department at 715-726-7701.
Frank Rajkowski & Beth McDonough
Updated: August 20, 2018 10:00 PM
Created: August 20, 2018 02:51 PM
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