Divers recover body presumed to be second canoeist who went missing on Lake Winnebago

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Updated: 5:11 p.m. on April 1, 2021

FOND DU LAC COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Sheriff's office divers recovered a body matching the description of the second missing victim in Lake Winnebago Thursday, April 1. 

A body matching the description of the other missing man was recovered Wednesday. 

The identity of the victim recovered Wednesday was positively identified as Dakota Goldapske, and officials say the victim recovered Thursday is presumed to be Michael Gohde.

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Updated: 9:35 p.m. on March 31, 2021

FOND DU LAC COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The sheriff's department recovered a body Wednesday, matching the description of one of two men who went missing in Lake Winnebago.

Officials say the Medical Examiner's Office will work with family members to confirm the identity of the victim, and confirmation will be released at a later time.

The search for the second victim has been suspended until Thursday due to dark conditions, strong winds and below freezing temperatures in turbulent waters Wednesday evening.

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Updated: 6:47 p.m. on March 30, 2021

FOND DU LAC COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office has identified the two missing canoeists as Dakota Goldapske and Michael Gohde, both 21-year-old men from Fond du Lac. 

Officials say neither victim has been recovered at this time, after an extensive recovery effort on Lake Winnebago resumed Tuesday morning. 

The effort focused on an area in the southwest corner of Lake Winnebago where officials used GPS coordinates from 911 calls as well as coordinates of the partially submerged canoe located during Monday night's efforts. 

Authorities say wind conditions Tuesday slowed the search process, and the mission will continue Wednesday with additional watercraft and technology.

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Updated: 11:34 a.m. on March 30, 2021 

FOND DU LAC COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The search for two missing canoeists on Lake Winnebago has turned into a recovery operation.

The Fond Du Lac County Sheriff said two men in their 20's called 911 around 8:30 Monday night, March 29. They were adrift a mile from where the Fond Du Lac River empties into the lake and were rapidly drifting north.

High wind and waves made it impossible for the men to return to shore. The sheriff said neither man was wearing a life jacket.

"They didn't have them and this is the situation we're in, in this particular incident," said Fond Du Lac County Sheriff Ryan Waldschmidt.

He said the men were able to stay connected to 911 for up to 45 minutes Monday.

They were calling from their canoe, but were eventually thrown into the lake where they began treading water.

The sheriff said dispatchers were tracking their GPS location from their phone.

It showed them drifting quickly north.

The sheriff said the weather and low water levels hurt the rescue effort. The departments large boat kept hitting bottom and was damaged in the effort. Smaller boats couldn't get far enough out in four to five foot waves.

The United States Coast Guard dispatched a helicopter from Traverse City, Michigan to help with the search but it was not able to locate the missing canoeists.

The search has now turned into a recovery effort.

Several boats are out searching using sonar, but gusty winds are making that difficult Tuesday as well.

"Soon as you're out about a quarter to a half mile it gets pretty rough, it's not as choppy as it was yesterday but it definitely bounces the boat around and makes it more challenging with the sonar," said Waldschmidt.

The sheriff's office said it will continue searching for the two men Tuesday.

It has asked the state for a plane or helicopter to help the search, but high winds continue to cause problems.


Published: 5:21 a.m. on March 29, 2021 

FOND DU LAC COUNTY (CBS 58) – The Fond du Lac Sheriff’s Office is continuing a search for two missing canoers.

Authorities say on Monday, Mar. 29, they received a call around 8:28 p.m. from one of the individuals in the canoe on Lake Winnebago. According to a press release, shortly after placing the call, the two people were thrown from the canoe and fell into the water. Neither person was wearing a life jacket. The caller remained on the phone for several minutes in the water before the call disconnected.

Several departments are involved in the rescue effort including the Fond du Lac Police Department, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Coast Guard. After five hours searching on land, water and air, the victims were unable to be located.

The sheriff’s office says a search from the air continued into the early morning hours and after daylight, more boats and aircraft will be used.

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