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Two presumed drowned in boating accident on Blackduck Lake

BLACKDUCK - A recovery effort resumed this morning for two missing boaters who fell into Blackduck Lake on Tuesday afternoon.

Two people were rescued and a dog swam to safety after the accident, but two others were still missing Tuesday night after recovery efforts were halted by severe weather.

Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp reported at 9:30 p.m. that the accident occurred at about 4 p.m. Tuesday on the lake, located west of the city of Blackduck about 25 miles north of Bemidji.

The 911 call came in at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday reporting that a boat with four occupants and a dog had capsized on the lake. Occupants of a pontoon near the area were attempting to rescue the four people and dog. Two of the occupants of the capsized boat were rescued, but because of high winds and stormy conditions, it was not possible to locate the other two. The dog was able to swim ashore and was later located and returned to the owner's family.

Responders from the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office, Blackduck Fire Department, Blackduck Ambulance and private citizens assisted with the search for the two missing persons. Severe weather forced them off the lake at about 9 p.m. Tuesday. The search and recovery effort will begin again Wednesday morning with dive teams, additional personnel, aircraft and other assistance.

As of 9:30 p.m. Tuesday no names had been released pending notification of family members.

Hodapp said further news releases will follow Wednesday with updates as the search and recovery effort unfolds.