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UPDATE: Search for Missing Northeast Iowa Kayaker Continues

Authorities in northeast Iowa have been unable to locate a man who went missing over the weekend while kayaking.

The Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) received a report early Sunday (05.19) afternoon of a missing 39-year-old male who was alone when he launched his kayak onto the Upper Iowa River around 2 pm on Saturday (05.18). 

Missing is Justin Limkamenn, whose last known location was on the river near the Freeport area, east of Decorah, at around 6 pm Saturday (05.18). A capsized kayak and several items belonging to Limkamenn were located in the middle of the just below the Upper Dam.

WCSO, Decorah Fire Department, Winneshiek County Emergency Management, and Iowa DNR continued search and recovery efforts throughout the day and evening hours Monday (05.20). In addition to jet boat, sonar, and drone technology, Christian Aid Ministries Search and Rescue, Illinois Team, was deployed to the Upper Dam area. 

Advanced equipment, technologies and experts did an extensive search of the area, but these latest efforts were unsuccessful. Search and recovery efforts will continue Tuesday (05.21).

According to Facebook posts by Limkamenn’s sister, Sarah Klages, the Illinois rescue unit had to leave Tuesday for another call and is not likely to return. She also noted that “the area below that dam is very very rough and FULL of debris including rebar, large chunks of wood, and trees,” making it unsafe for divers to enter the water. It was also too dangerous for excavation equipment.

Klages says it’s believed that her brother may have fallen asleep in the kayak before it likely went over the dam.

If anyone has any information regarding this situation, please call the Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office.

Mark Pitz

News Director/Weekdays 10am to 2pm on 95.9 KCHA
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