Search continues for S.D. kayaker

COURTLAND – Several area law enforcement agencies continued to search Sunday for a missing 51-year-old Watertown S.D. man who did not make it to the Minnesota River shore Saturday night after overturning his kayak west of Courtland.

Stephen Fritze and two friends, Cameron Buri and John Carter, both from Watertown, S.D. were kayaking on the river in three kayaks when they ran into some brush and at least two of the kayaks overturned, according to Sheriff David Lange. Buri and Carter made it to shore, but Fritze did not. Bri and Carter walked to the Sioux Valley Gun Club nearby.

The Nicollet County Sheriff’s Office received the call reporting the mishap at 8:04 p.m. Saturday. Emergency responders from Nicollet, Brown and Blue Earth County plus the Courtland Fire Department searched the area on shore and by boat until sunset Saturday.

The search – including eight boats and 35 people – continued Sunday morning, ending at sundown, and will continue this morning at 7 a.m.

The river has been flowing quickly following days of rains. The Minnesota River rose from 10 feet Saturday to 12 feet Sunday at Mankato.

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