On November 24, 2017 at 2:50 PM the Grant County Sheriff's Office was notified of a boating accident on the Mississippi River somewhere between Glen Haven, WI and Bagley, WI. The information received was that a boat with multiple hunters in it had flipped and that the hunters were on land, but they were not sure where they were at. They could see the railroad tracks.
Multiple agencies responded to assist in the search. Information was then received that the hunters had made it back to the River of Lakes boat landing and were requesting EMS. A Grant County Sheriff's Deputy responded there and learned that there were three men in the boat: Paul Ketterer, 62, of Fennimore (boat owner), Ryne Jackley, 28, of Bagley, and Blake Evans, 36, of Dodgeville.
The three men had put in to the Mississippi River at Jay's Landing. They went south from there along the "state line channel" and were about one mile south of the landing when they ran into rougher water. Ketterer said that he had backed off of the throttle due to the south wind and rough water. He said he slowed to maybe five miles per hour. When he backed off the throttle, the bow of the boat dropped and the boat suddenly started to take on a large amount of water. This pushed the bow of the boat further down causing the boat to stop suddenly and flip, end over end as it was described.
All three men were thrown from the boat. They said that they were about 30 to 40 yards from shore when this happened. They had to swim toward shore as it was too deep to touch bottom. At about 20 yards from shore, the three men said that they could touch bottom and were able to walk to shore.
Another duck hunter was boating by and saw the men. Blake and Ryne went back out to their capsized boat with that hunter as a dog belonging to Blake was trapped under the boat. The men were able to free the dog and get it in the boat they were in. All three men, and the dog, were then brought back to Jay's Landing by the other hunter. The men all had their own vehicles at Jay's Landing. They could hear sirens and decided, since they did not have cell phone service, to come to River of Lakes boat landing.
EMS and First Responders went to that location where all three men were treated for body temperature issues (they were approaching hypothermic body temperatures). All three men refused transport by EMS. Two of the three men were transported by private vehicle to an area hospital for treatment and evaluation.
The boat, a 14 foot flat bottom boat with a 35 HP Go Devil motor, was recovered by the Bagley Fire Department and Federal Fish and Wildlife
Agencies that responded to this incident were: Glen Haven Fire Department, Glen Haven First Responders, Bagley Fire Department, Bagley First Responders, West Grant EMS, the Grant County Sheriff's Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife (Federal Game Warden), and mutual aid had been requested from the Guttenberg, IA Fire Department for a boat and the Grant County Emergency Management Office for a drone.
None of the men were wearing personal floatation devices when the incident occurred
although they were in the boat. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is handling the investigation into the incident.