Divers are continuing their search for the bodies of two Illinois men, who were among four people believed to have drowned early Sunday morning on a Walworth County lake.
Investigators believe the four took a canoe from a boat house early Sunday morning, heading out on a lake near the East Troy house where they were staying with a larger group. DNR conservation warden Jason Roberts said two bodies were recovered Sunday, and the search will continue until the others are found. “We’ve got several boats out in the area, along with helicopter assistance to look from above,” he said.
Officials have identified the two bodies recovered as 20-year-old Lanny Patrick Sack and 21-year-old Christopher J. McQuillen, both of Illinois. The names of the other two victims have not been released.
Roberts notes that cold-weather canoeing requires special equipment and skills, which did not appear to have been in use when the group set out on the water Sunday morning. There was also no evidence of life jackets being used either.
Boat-related fatalities in January are rare, with just three incidents in Wisconsin since 2000. Roberts said that’s largely because many of the state’s lakes are typically frozen over by this time of year. With a warmer start to the season though, there’s still a significant amount of open water in southern Wisconsin. He advised against boating in colder weather without the appropriate gear and training.
EDIT: This story has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of one of the victim’s names. A previous release from the Department of Natural Resources had identified Christopher J. McQuillen and Christopher J. McQuillan.