Search Waters-Emergency rescue personnel from the Cities of Marinette and Menominee were busy Monday, April 22 trying to locate a missing fisherman who fallen into the Menominee River from his capsized boat. Benjamin J. Tart, age 58, of Iron River, Mich. is believed to be the missing fisherman. Tart along with his 21-year old nephew were fishing on the Menominee River when their boat capsized. One of the men was rescued by the Marinette Fire Department but authorities were unable to locate Tart. Agencies responding to the scene included Marinette and Menominee Fire Departments, Marinette and Menominee County Sheriff's deputies, DNR wardens from Wisconsin and Michigan, US Coast Guard Helicopter, Emergency Rescue Squad, Bay Area Medical Center paramedics and volunteers. Top Photo: Menominee Firefighters prepare to remove their rescue boat after the victim's boat was recovered.
One Man Saved, One Believed Dead After Boat Flips In Menominee River Issue Date: May 2, 2019
Rain-swollen waters of the Menominee River below the Marinette/Menominee dam are believed to have claimed the life of one fisherman on Monday, April 29 and threatened the life of another.
According to Kathy Frank, Marinette County Emergency Management Coordinator and Public Information Officer, at approximately 10:23 a.m. on Monday Marinette County Dispatch/9-1-1 received a that a boat had overturned near the railroad bridge and a person was in the water.
The dam slightly upstream from the Interstate Bridge is the last obstruction on the Menominee River before it enters the waters of Green Bay at Menekaunee Harbor. Currents toward the Bay were running strong and winds were high.
The City of Marinette Fire Department responded and saw one person in the water near the Hwy. 41 Interstate Bridge. They immediately launched a boat and pulled one person, a 21-year-old male, from the river and transported him to the hospital. That individual reported that his uncle had been in the boat with him.
The boat was located a short while later near Boom Landing, which is considerably downstream from the Interstate Bridge, about half way from there to the river's mouth at Menekaunee Harbor.
The second fisherman has not been found, and is presumed drowned. He has been identified as Benjamin J. Tart, Jr., 58, of Iron River, Mich. and was described as a large man, about six feet tall and weighing about 250 pounds. He was wearing Carhartt type clothing. the public was asked to report anyone matching that description
Search for the missing man was suspended Monday evening due to darkness and the danger of strong currents, and was resumed again on Tuesday, but again without success. A dive team was unable to search the water due to the strong current.
According to Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve, Tart is presumed dead and the search is now officially termed an attempt at recovery, not a rescue. The victim's family has been kept informed of the situation and is appreciative of all the effort put into the search, Sauve said. The nephew was treated at the hospital on Monday and released.
The City of Marinette Fire Department, Marinette County Sheriff's Department, Marinette City Police Department, Menominee Fire Department, Menominee County Sheriff's Department, and its Marine Unit; Aurora Bay Area Medical paramedics, Emergency Rescue Squad, U. S. Coast Guard, Wisconsin and Michigan DNR personnel, and Marinette County Emergency Management were on the scene on Monday, and most of them were assisting in the search again on Tuesday. Sonar and other high tech equipment was used but no sign was found of the missing man.
Sauve said searchers were assisted by several local fishermen in addition to the numerous law enforcement and public safety partners. He expressed thanks to the local businesses and individuals who assisted and who supplied food and beverages for the search crew. Stephenson Island was the staging area for the search and was closed to all other traffic on Monday and Tuesday.
Recent stories, opinions and photos