Body found on Lake Superior shore was missing kayakerThe body of a missing kayaker was found last Thursday on the shore of Lake Superior just north of Two Harbors in the Flood Bay area.
By: Mike Creger, Lake County News-Chronicle
The body of a missing kayaker was found last Thursday on the shore of Lake Superior just north of Two Harbors in the Flood Bay area.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Department received a call about 3 p.m. from construction workers in the area who reported a body had washed ashore. The body was taken to the St. Louis County medical examiner and Sheriff Carey Johnson said it was confirmed that the body was that of Douglas R. Winter, the missing kayaker. The medical examiner has not reported the cause of death.
Authorities had been searching for Winter, a 48-year-old former Milwaukee Public Schools teacher, since his kayak washed ashore Oct. 20 in the Beaver Bay area.
Johnson said he hadn’t expected to find him after such a long time. “Superior isn’t like inland lakes,” he said. “It’s cold, and usually a body stays down.”
Winter was last heard from about 8:40 p.m. on Oct. 19 when he called a friend. He said he was on Lake Superior, could not see land, and the waves were getting fairly large, the sheriff’s department said. Winter was an experienced kayaker, family and friends said.
Johnson said Winter’s body was found roughly where it would be expected given the wave patterns on the lake the past few weeks. Flood Bay is about 20 miles southwest of Beaver Bay, where Winter was staying at a resort and where he likely put in with his kayak. Items linked to Winter — his kayak, a life jacket, and a paddle — were all found in the Split Rock Creek area, about six miles southwest of Beaver Bay, in the first few days after his disappearance.
An initial intensive search of the lake and shore areas turned up no clues. His car was found unlocked in the parking lot at Cove Point Lodge with the keys in it along with a checkbook and clothing bag.
Search and rescue teams continued to patrol the shoreline six days after the disappearance but had to rely on hikers along the shore finding items washed up. The case remained active the past three weeks with no clues coming in the past two weeks until the find Thursday.
Costs related to the search are absorbed by the agencies that respond, Johnson said. He said such efforts and the costs have been an issue in the past, especially in the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area. He said there has been talk of raising permit fees in the BWCWA to create funding for search and rescue efforts. He hasn’t calculated the cost involved in the search for Winter.