Authorities ID missing Boundary Waters canoeists

UPDATE (5/22): The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office says search and recovery operations are set to resume 9 a.m. Thursday. The weather is expected to be clear for the next 24-36 hours.

With help from Anderson Canoe outfitters, more personnel and equipment will be brought to Iron Lake, allowing the search effort to be expanded.

UPDATE: According to the Superior National Forest Service, an Emergency Closure Order went into effect at midnight for Iron Lake Search and Rescue operations. The closure includes land and water in St Louis County for all trails, campsites, portages, rivers and lakes that are within the closure area. The restrictions will remain until 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, May 22.

Saturday evening at around 7:20, the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a report of a water emergency on Iron Lake.

The caller reported 2 canoes had gone over Curtain Falls during the incident, one party was badly injured and two individuals were missing.

The missing have been identified as Jesse Melvin Haugen, 41, from Cambridge, Minnesota and Reis Melvin Grams, 40, from Lino Lakes, Minnesota.

Around 12:30am a DNR helicopter was used to extract one injured person, a 47-year-old from Ham Lake, Minnesota, and an uninjured party, a 43-year-old also from Ham Lake. The injured individual was flown to Essentia Duluth with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Another member of the group, a 33-year-old from Cambridge, Minnesota, was flown out of the BWCA. They were not involved in the incident according to authorities.

The St. Louis Co. Rescue Squad continues to search for the 2 missing individuals Sunday and Monday and says they will expand the search as needed. They’re using remote operated vehicles and drones.

Assisting in the operation: North Air Care, Virginia Fire, MN DNR helicopter, MART (Minnesota Air Rescue Team), and the US Forest Service.