Authorities investigating apparent St. Croix River drowning

A water recovery is underway on the St. Croix River, just south of the Interstate 94 bridge, after a fishing boat was seen Tuesday morning unoccupied and spinning in circles near Town of Troy, Wis., Beach.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team is searching for a person who is believed to have been on board, said St. Croix County, Wis., Sheriff Scott Knudson.

Another boater called 911 at 9:35 a.m. Tuesday to report seeing “an unoccupied boat doing circles in the middle of the St. Croix River,” Knudson said. “They also thought they saw a body next to the boat.”

When the Washington County Sheriff’s Office rescue team arrived on scene, about 650 yards from the Wisconsin shore, “there was nobody above water,” Knudson said. “They began their search underwater and are currently using those resources to try and locate (the boater).”

The St. Croix River is 30 to 40 feet deep at that point in the river, he said.

Crews were able to collect the Minnesota-registered boat after it ran out of gas, Knudson said. It was towed to the Town of Troy Beach, he said.

Officials at the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office have reached out to the family of the registered boat owner and “are trying to gather as much information as possible,” he said.

It was not clear whether the person on the boat was wearing a life jacket, Knudson said.

“This is sad for everybody,” he said. “If somebody did in fact drown, this is going to be impactful for the family, and our condolences go out to them. When somebody goes out fishing and doesn’t come back, that leaves a long-lasting impact on their loved ones.”

Assisting St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office is the Hudson Police Department, the Hudson Fire Department, the Lower St. Croix Valley Fire Department, Lakeview EMS, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

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