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Search for missing Red Lake fishermen continues

Searchers head out to look for Deland Beaulieu, 29, and a 17-year-old boy on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, after a Red Lake Fisheries boat capsized on Monday on Lower Red Lake in northern Minnesota. Jillian Gandsey / Forum News Service

RED LAKE, Minn. — Volunteers and public safety officials gathered Tuesday, Nov. 7, to continue the search for two fisherman who went missing on Lower Red Lake on Monday afternoon.

The two missing people — identified by the Red Lake Police Department as Deland Beaulieu, 29, and a 17-year-old boy — disappeared after a Red Lake Fisheries boat capsized on the east side of the lake near an area known as the "cut off."

A third man who was on board the boat when it capsized swam to shore and was rescued by passersby. No information was given on his age or condition.

The Red Lake Police Department and Red Lake Fire Department began searching for the missing fishermen Monday evening, but part of the search was called off after a rescuer experienced hypothermia symptoms.

The search resumed at about 9 a.m. Tuesday, with assistance from the U.S. Border Patrol, the FBI, the Leech Lake Police Department, the Leech Lake Conservation Enforcement Department and the Bemidji Fire Department.

Some searchers waded in shallow areas of the lake within sight of the Red Lake Fisheries building, and worked to break ice and launch boats. Civilians manned trailers, put out hot drinks and tended a fire to combat below-freezing temperatures.

Red Lake Public Safety Director William Brunelle said searchers had trouble launching boats Monday, as the cold weather caused the boats' gas lines to freeze up. A post on the department's Facebook page asked volunteers to use additives to prevent more lines from freezing.

Brunelle said rescuers would spend Tuesday revisiting areas covered Monday, as well as portions of the lake between "first bridge" and "third bridge." The Facebook post said volunteers would search the shoreline north and south of the "cut off."

Other officials worked to "drag" portions of the lake, looking for signs of the lost fishermen.

"As long as the weather conditions allow us to, we are intending to search all day," Brunelle said. "Today we need to be better prepared."

Grace Pastoor

Grace Pastoor covers crime, courts and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. Contact her at (218) 333-9796 or

(218) 333-9796