After two days of searching, a second body has been found from a weekend pontoon incident on Lake Wissota.
Officials say the search for Antonio Robinson, 22, came to an end just a few hours into Tuesday’s search efforts.
“We began searching around 7:30 this morning. Shortly before 9:00, one of our drone operators indicated that they had located an object in the water near the dam that resembled that of a human,” said Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk.
The discovery of the body comes just a day after officials released the names of two men involved in a pontoon incident on Lake Wissota during the weekend.
“We received a call from a young lady who indicated that sometime in late afternoon on Saturday, she had actually seen the pontoon and the tube near the island on Lake Wissota and that nobody was on the tube and nobody was on the boat,” said Kowalczyk.
On Sunday, officials found the body of Travis Cramer, 50, tied with rope to a tube, floating near the buoys north of the hydro dam. Both deceased men were from Minnesota and were in town on a camping trip with family. Officials say Cramer was dating a relative of Robinson. The family became concerned when the two men didn’t return to the campsite on Saturday.
Boaters were asked to keep an eye out for Robinson’s body this week.
“I was staying and still am staying at a resort here on the lake and the resort owner told us about the incident and to be on the look-out for one missing, deceased,” said Gary Uting of La Crosse.
Officials say Robinson’s body was located just about 100 yards from where they found Cramer’s body on Sunday. The drone gave investigators a better view, aiding in the recovery. Gary Uting is a retired police officer and says the incident is unfortunate.
“It made me think of my law enforcement days when we would pull them out of the river in La Crosse. I felt for the family right away,” he said.
While the circumstances behind the two deaths are still unknown, officials say the incident is highlighting water safety.
“We may never know what happened, but this is a prime example that safety equipment such as life jackets should always be worn, regardless of if you are a swimmer or non-swimmer,” said Kowalczyk.
The sheriff’s department says there were no witnesses to the incident. While they don’t know exactly what happened, officials believe it was likely a swimming or a tubing incident. Foul play has been ruled out.