Body of missing fisherman found 50 feet from canoe tip - KMSP-TV

Body of missing fisherman found 50 feet from canoe tip

Posted: Updated:
WINONA, Minn. (KMSP) -

Search crews have found the body of missing fisherman who fell from a canoe in the backwaters of the Mississippi River on Friday.

Stockton man Robert Lester Duncanson, 88, was found on Saturday about 50 feet from where his canoe tipped. Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand said Duncanson was fishing by himself near Prairie Island Campground when he went missing.

PHOTOS: Crews search for missing fisherman

Crews began searching Friday morning around 11 after his canoe overturned near the spillway.

Brand said Duncanson fished in the area often and that up to 40 dive rescue volunteer crew members had scoured the campground searching for him after discovering his overturned canoe and a life jacket.

“The fact that this is a low overhead dam spillway, the water is pouring over the top and it creates a hydraulic right next to it that basically will pull that person or boat right into it,” said Brian Buerck of the Winona County Dive Rescue Team.


Sheriff Brand says people go missing in the Mississippi River from the campgrounds far too often. In January, crews spent 14 days searching for four boys and now the elderly fisherman.

“It’s something we don’t like doing,” said Sheriff Brand. “We average probably one or two a year wither in Minnesota or we help Wisconsin out as well.”

Recent rains have made this part of the river a concern and crews hope those who take to the river stay away from the spillway or where there’s a high current. The search for Duncanson continued Saturday morning.

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