Police in Kenora are searching for a missing boater on the Lake of the Woods, following a fatal incident.

On October 15, the OPP were notified that three males had all been missing on Lake of the Woods, near Manitou Island. Police learned that the vessel had capsized, and the males did not resurface.

Two of the males were later located deceased, but police are still searching for the third male. The investigation is continuing. The names of the deceased were not released.

Members of the Kenora OPP, Marine and Trails Unit, Emergency Response Team and the Underwater Search and Recovery Unit are all involved in the search.

Treaty #3 Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh extended his condolences to the families involved, and the community of Big Grassy First Nation – where the two deceased males were reportedly from.

“I want to share my heartfelt condolences and prayers to the families and to the community on behalf of the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty#3. The men will all be remembered for their contribution to the family, community and their dedication and sharing of culture and traditional lifestyle. Your families’ grief is shared across the territory and our collective hearts are heavy with the news of the magnitude of the loss.” 

“I want to commend the hard work of the first responders who had to work in such adverse weather conditions to recover the victims and the immediate response of the regional health organizations who sent in crisis workers and staff to provide mental health support services. I know that the families, community of Big Grassy First Nation we will recover from this tragedy, our citizens are strong and resilient and the Treaty#3 leadership supports them in their healing and in securing any resources needed from government to assist them in their healing journey”, added Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh also reminded residents to keep looking for missing 26-year-old Bradley Kirkrude of Big Island First Nation. He was reported missing on October 8. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the OPP or the Treaty Three Police Service immediately.

This is the second search for missing boaters on the Lake of the Woods since October 9. Two men were located after their vessel ran out of fuel on the water, after being missing for three days. Both men were treated for minor injuries.

Police say that on the lake in the fall, boaters should always:

  • take a paper map with them,

  • have a way to make a fire,

  • have a flashlight,

  • take something extra to to eat,

  • have a space blanket and

  • a blaze orange vinyl or plastic tarp to signal and to keep the rain and snow off.

For more information:
Rescue on Lake of the Woods
Big Island member missing

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