Water Emergency ***Update Names Released***

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Sheriff's logo - new  



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

MN National Guard

Ely Fire

Ely Police


***Update Names Released***  


The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office and St. Louis County Rescue Squad were able to utilize an influx of assistance yesterday from the MN National Guard, Ely FD, Ely PD, MN DNR, USFS, and Anderson Canoe Outfitters and coupled with the good weather were able to transport in equipment and personnel by air and water to the search area to continue the search for the missing 2 canoeists at Curtain Falls in the BWCA. Boats (Zodiacs and Canoes), Sonar, ROV's, Drones, Dogs and Personnel were able to reach the area with search efforts continuing today and throughout the weekend. Camp has been established to support the search efforts as personnel will be spending the majority of the weekend conducting shoreline, water, and ROV searches. Search efforts continue to be difficult due to the weather, rise in water levels, and current in the search area. With a weather cell moving through this afternoon crews anticipate working through the weather. Over a dozen crew members are on the ground at the search area with several others supporting in air operations and command posts. Any further information will be disseminated as it becomes available. 

Nate Skelton

Division Commander - Range Offices

St. Louis County Sheriff's Office