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Missing Boaters Identified, Search Called Off Due to Weather

Lauren Zechin
Daily Gate City
Crews respond to a call of a boat capsizing on the Mississippi River with two men aboard near Montrose.

The search has been called off for two men reported missing Tuesday afternoon after their boat capsized in the Mississippi River near Montrose.

The men have been identified as Bill White Sr., 68, of Argyle and Ron Wagner, 48, of Montrose, according to Steve Cirinna, Lee County Emergency Management Coordinator.

Cirinna said after three hours of searching Tuesday afternoon and another four hours Wednesday morning, it was decided to halt operations because of the weather. He said it is not safe to put a boat in the water given the water temperature and the large chunks of ice floating downstream.

Cirinna said the men put their boat in the river from Montrose’s Riverview Park. He said a 911 call came in about 2:00 p.m. Tuesday from a witness who saw the boat sinking about 300 yards south of the park.

Cirinna said an Iowa State Patrol airplane was used Wednesday morning, but it did not find any sign of the men or the boat. He said it was the same with people walking along the shoreline.

Cirinna said the search was considered a recovery, as opposed to a rescue, due to the conditions.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.