Two canoeists missing in Boundary Waters after going over waterfall

Fire Lake
A view of Fire Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area on July 13, 2019.
Kirsti Marohn | MPR News

Two canoeists are missing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness after two canoes went over a waterfall between two large lakes along the Canadian border.

On Saturday at about 7:20 p.m., the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office received an emergency call that two canoes had gone over Curtain Falls, which connects Iron and Crooked Lakes. The caller said one person was badly injured and two were missing.

A waterfall
Curtain Falls in the Boundary Waters.
Rescue Squad Team Leader Ben Hartley via St Louis County Rescue Squad Facebook

Shortly after midnight, a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources helicopter rescued the injured paddler, who was flown to the Essentia Health hospital in Duluth with serious but not life-threatening injuries. The helicopter also evacuated the uninjured paddler.

The Superior National Forest has issued an emergency closure order until Wednesday for a section of the Boundary Waters in the area where search and rescue crews are searching for the missing canoeists, including Iron Lake and Crooked Lake west of Sunday Bay.

The St. Louis County Rescue Squad is leading search efforts. An individual who was with the group but not involved in the incident has also been flown out of the wilderness.

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