Rescue crews in Morton County continued to search Tuesday for a 74-year-old Bismarck man who is missing after his boat capsized in the Heart River west of Mandan on Monday.
Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said ice on the river and a strong current were making conditions hazardous for searchers. Authorities also were expecting the river level to rise as much as 18 to 24 inches by Wednesday due to melting conditions.
“It makes it very difficult to search in water at this point,” Kirchmeier said.
Morton County authorities identified the man as Lynn Fairfield.
His boat was found capsized and caught in an ice jam on Monday after a woman called 911 at 5 p.m. that day to report her husband missing, according to the Morton County Sheriff’s Office.
The woman said Fairfield had left their home at 9 a.m. Monday to check some hunting locations and she had been unable to reach him on his cell phone.
The Heart River area was searched Monday night along the shorelines with assistance from a North Dakota Highway Patrol bloodhound, and by air with a drone and a Highway Patrol aircraft.
On Tuesday, crews searched by air, land and water with assistance from Burleigh County’s Swift Water Rescue Team, Mandan Rural Fire, Highway Patrol and the Morton County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team.
“We’re currently searching about a 100-yard area of the river and Burleigh County is utilizing its remote-operated vehicle to search under the water,” Kirchmeier said.
Dive teams were standing by, but there had been no positive sightings as of Tuesday afternoon, Kirchmeier said.
Search efforts continued Tuesday until early evening, Morton County spokeswoman Maxine Herr said.
Tom Stromme contributed to this report.