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Emergency crews search for missing boaters in Lake Winnebago

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FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WKOW) -- The Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office is searching for two people after they received a report of a capsized canoe on Lake Winnebago Monday night.

The sheriff's office put out a release early Tuesday morning explaining the search efforts.

At about 8:30 p.m. a 911 call was received from one of the two people "in distress," in a canoe on the lake. At that time, both of them were still in the boat.

Shortly after, authorities said they were thrown from the canoe and fell into the water. Neither person was wearing a personal floatation device. The 911 call continued for several more minutes before they were disconnected.

Multiple rescue crews were called in to help find the boaters including the sheriff's office boat patrol and water rescue team, Fond du Lac Police Department officers, Wisconsin DNR wardens, Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue personnel, and a helicopter from the US Coast Guard out of Traverse City, Michigan.

With the wind gusting nearly 40 miles per hour, the search was made more difficult Monday night. Waves reached four to five feet and the low water levels of Lake Winnebago caused the rescue boat to hit the bottom several times.

The sheriff's office said the air search effort is continuing through the night. Tuesday morning, the full rescue operation will resume.

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Neena Pacholke

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