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Search continues for 2 missing canoeists in northeastern Minnesota, parts of Boundary Waters closed

Search underway in BWCA for 2 missing canoeists
Search underway in BWCA for 2 missing canoeists 00:29

DULUTH, Minn. — Parts of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota have been temporarily closed as a search for two missing canoeists continues. 

On Sunday, officials with the Superior National Forest announced an emergency closure order due to search and rescue efforts on Iron Lake. 

The closed areas include land and water in St. Louis County, including Iron Lake, the LaCroix-Bottle portage and LaCroix-Iron portage, and Crooked Lake west of Sunday Bay. 

Restrictions went into effect Monday and will remain in effect until Wednesday. 

Superior National Forest

2 canoeists missing after going over a waterfall 

Officials with the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office say they received a report early Saturday evening of a water emergency on Iron Lake. The caller reported that two canoes had gone over Curtain Falls during the incident. 

Two canoeists went missing and another person in the party was badly injured. A helicopter with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources was dispatched to the scene and extracted the injured victim as well as another person who was not injured. 

According to the sheriff's office, the injured victim was taken to Essentia Duluth where they are expected to survive. 

The following day, search efforts resumed and another person who was involved in the group, but not involved in the incident, was flown out of the area. 

Officials have identified the two missing canoeists as 40-year-old Reis Grams of Lino Lakes and 41-year-old Jesse Haugen of Cambridge.  

The St. Louis County Rescue Squad is leading the search for the two missing canoeists. Assisting agencies include the DNR, North Air Care, Minnesota Air Rescue Team and Virginia Fire Department. 

According to the sheriff's office, rapid water conditions are making it difficult for search teams. 

Earlier in May, the body of a 62-year-old Duluth man was recovered after the report of a capsized canoe. Officials say that they found a life jacket on the scene but that the victim was not wearing it. 

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