Search for Missing Kewaunee Fisherman Now a Recovery Effort

The search for a Kewaunee fisherman who did not return to shore July 4 has turned into a recovery mission.

Mark Wautelet, 38, of Kewaunee was reported missing Wednesday, July 4, to the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department after he did not return to Kewaunee Marina at his expected time. An experienced charter fisherman, Wautelet left the Kewaunee Marina at 5 pm and was expected back at 9:30 pm.

The Coast Guard was notified at 11:15 pm Wednesday, July 4, of an overdue 35-foot pleasure craft with one person on board. The Coast Guard arrived on scene and located the vessel beached on shore with no one onboard.

The Coast Guard suspended the search for Wautelet July 5 after searching the area with many air and boat searchers, including an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Traverse City, Mich., an MH-60 from Air Facility Waukegan, Ill., a 45-foot response boat from Station Sheboygan, a 29-foot response from Station Two Rivers, a 29-foot response boat from Station Sturgeon Bay, a Coast Guard Auxiliary fixed-wing aircraft from Muskegon, Mich., and a Royal Canadian Air Force C-130 out of Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton, Ontario.

Coast Guard units searched a total of 425 square miles in 20 hours.

Additional assets included units from the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department, the City of Algoma Police Department, the City of Kewaunee Police Department, the Eagle III helicopter through County Rescue in Brown County, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and a K9 unit from the Door County Sheriff’s Department.

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