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Missing Kayaker--Update

Missing Kayaker

Update 5/28/2024 - 9 am: On Monday, May 27, around 2:25pm the Iowa DNR reported seeing what they believed was a body in the Upper Iowa River near Lundy Bridge in Winneshiek County. A short time later, the Decorah Fire Department was able to confirm the sighting and recover the body of missing kayaker Justin Gerald Limkemann (39). Justin Gerald Limkemann has been missing since Saturday, May 18, 2024, after he went kayaking. The Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office and all agencies involved in the search and recovery efforts extend their heartfelt condolences to the victim’s family and loved ones during this difficult time.

Previous Release 5/22/2024 - 10 am: Justin Gerald Limkemann (39) of Frederika, Iowa, has still not been located after he went kayaking on the Upper Iowa River on Saturday, May 18, 2024. Due to mother nature and high-water levels, search and recovery efforts have been altered. The Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office along with search and recovery crews have been working closely with Justin’s family throughout this operation. Search and recovery efforts will continue throughout the next several days as conditions allow.

Previous Release 5/21/2024 - 08:30 am: The Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office, Decorah Fire Department, Winneshiek County Emergency Management, and Iowa DNR continued search and recovery efforts throughout the day and evening hours Monday 5/20/24. In addition, 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. These latest efforts were unsuccessful.

Today (5/21/24) search and recovery efforts will continue.

Previous Release: On Sunday, May 19, 2024, at around 12:16 pm, the Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a missing 39-year-old male kayaker. The Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office immediately began investigating. The kayaker was alone and had launched onto the Upper Iowa River around 2 pm on Saturday, May 18, 2024 (the day prior). The last known location of the kayaker was on the river near the Freeport area at around 6 pm, Saturday, May 18, 2024. A short time after the investigation was initiated, the capsized kayak was located in the middle of the Upper Iowa River just below the Upper Dam. Several other items belonging to the kayaker were also located in the river below the Upper Dam.

The Decorah Fire Department and the Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office conducted an extensive search of the river from Freeport to the Lower Dam. This search included a jet boat, sonar, and drone technology. The kayaker has not been located and search and recovery efforts are continuing.

The Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office is being assisted by the Decorah Fire Department, Winneshiek County Emergency Management, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources. If anyone has any information regarding this situation, please call the Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office.



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