Coast Guard suspends search for missing kayaker in Port Washington

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PORT WASHINGTON — The Coast Guard suspended the search Thursday morning, March 17th for 27-year-old Marcus Beilman of West Bend — the man who went missing on a kayak on Lake Michigan Wednesday afternoon, March 16th.

Brothers went kayaking on Lake Michigan, only one returned to shoreThis follows search efforts that involved two U.S. Coast Guard helicopters as well as two Coast Guard vessels, searching for a total of 35 hours.

The call to officials came in shortly before 4:30 p.m. Wednesday from a passing bicyclist, who said an individual was observed coming out of the lake at Coal Dock Park, walking towards South Beach.

Kevin Beilman was found at the South Beach area. He reported that he and his brother had launched their kayaks from South Beach and at some point, given the wind and water conditions, his kayak overturned. Kevin Beilman said while he was in the water, he observed his brother’s kayak overturn, and he lost sight of his brother and the kayak.

Kevin Beilman was able to swim to shore. He is expected to make a full recovery following treatment of exposure.

The Port Washington Fire Department immediately launched search and rescue efforts — searching the area by boat for Marcus Beilman.

The U.S. Coast Guard was assisting with this search.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources aircraft was also being utilized.

As of 9:00 p.m., the Port Washington Fire Department had concluded search efforts — but the Coast Guard continued to search. The Coast Guard officially suspended their search efforts at 8:21 a.m. Thursday.


  • A yooper

    Sad that someone most likely died from a poor choice. Lake Michigan water at 40 deg. f. winds were gusting 40+ MPH. from the west blowing anything off shore in a hurry. Those waves maybe were not huge near shore but very unpredictable. I have been out there in a 20′ boat when winds picked up. And they were nothing close to 40 MPH. It gets your attention in a hurry. Sad for family but…… Lake Michigan is not a “summertime mill pond.” It is a lake that has claimed thousands of lives over time. These guys probably were very outdoor kind of guys to attempt kayaking early spring. Sometimes you have to sit down and think what could go wrong with this plan? Watching morning news now. Hard to imagine kayak or body not found yet.. Kayak is likely on a beach in Michigan by now.

  • A yooper

    I hate to say it but if person were wearing a life jacket I would think that the Coast Guard could spot him. They have an understanding of winds and currents when searching for individuals. Sad but just a bit of Darwin at t work here. Weather like it was to get on a tiny boat??????

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