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Search continues for two men stuck on capsized canoe in Chippewa River


EAU CLAIRE, WI (WTAQ) - A search resumes in Eau Claire Wednesday for two men who were seen hanging onto a canoe that capsized in the Chippewa River.

Police said a kayaker saw the boat Tuesday afternoon and tried throwing a rope to the two men. But the kayak tipped over in the process – and the canoe was gone when the kayaker resurfaced.

Rescuers were called, and they spent about 5 hours on the water before suspending their search. A medical helicopter from Eau Claire’s Mayo Health system also looked for the canoe from the air.

Authorities said Tuesday night they had no reports of missing persons – and they’re hoping to get public tips to identify them. The two men are said to be in their early 20’s.

Eau Claire police and fire officials have urged people to stay off the Chippewa River because of high and fast waters.

A forecast for snow would presumably keep boaters off the river, but it could also hamper the search efforts. Eau Claire is expected to get 3 to 6 inches of the white stuff from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday.