Water Emergency ***Update Names Released***

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Sheriff's Office • 100 North Fifth Avenue West • Duluth, MN 55802
Phone: (218) 726-2340 • www.stlouiscountymn.gov

Gordon Ramsay

Date: 5/19/24

Media Contact: Division Commander Nate Skelton
(218) 471-7167

Missing Canoeists Curtain Fall BWCA

On May 18, 2024 at approximately 7:21 PM, the St. Louis Co Sheriff's Office was dispatched to a report of a water emergency on Iron Lake in the BWCA. The caller reported 2 canoes had gone over Curtain Falls during the incident, one party was badly injured and two individuals were missing.

At approximately 12:30 AM, A DNR helicopter was used to extract one of the injured individuals and another uninjured party. The injured party was flown to Essentia Duluth with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

On May 19, 2024, search efforts resumed and were led by the St. Louis Co. Rescue Squad. An individual who was with the group, not involved in the incident, was flown out of the wilderness.

The St. Louis Co. Rescue Squad is continuing to search for the 2 missing individuals.


Assisting in the operation:

North Air Care

Virginia Fire

MN DNR helicopter

MART, Minnesota Air Rescue Team

US Forest Service


***Update Names Released***  

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office and Rescue Squad continue search efforts today in the Curtain Falls area of Iron Lake in the BWCA. ROV (remote operated vehicles) and Drones will be utilized to search the area for the missing canoeists. Rapid water conditions are making for difficult searching conditions, however crews on the group continue to push forward to continue the search area and expand it as needed. The following are the involved parties including the names of the two missing canoeists. 

#1 Missing Canoeist:  Jesse Melvin HAUGEN   Age:41    Address:   Cambridge, Mn. 

#2 Missing Canoeist:  Reis Melvin GRAMS       Age:40    Address:   Lino Lakes, Mn.


#3 Injured Canoeist:    Kyle Thomas SELLERS   Age: 47    Address:  Ham Lake, Mn. 

#4 Involved Canoeist: Erik Michael GRAMS        Age: 43    Address: Ham Lake, Mn. 

#5 Group Member:      Jared Jay LOHSE              Age:33    Address: Cambridge, Mn.

Updates will be provided as they become available as the search progresses. No further updates on extent of injuries to the rescued parties at this time.

Nate Skelton

Division Commander - Range Offices

St. Louis County Sheriff's Office