Boater Missing on Flathead Lake, Presumed Drowned

Search and rescue teams from across the region are on a mission to recover the body of Chad Hansen, 34, of Missoula, who became separated from his boat Friday night

By Beacon Staff
Lake County Courthouse in Polson on Feb. 22, 2017. Beacon file photo.

A recovery mission is underway on Flathead Lake as law enforcement agencies from multiple counties search for a 34-year-old boater from Missoula who became separated from his boat on Friday night and is presumed drowned, according to Lake County Sheriff Don Bell.

In a Saturday morning press release, Bell said Lake County dispatch received a report on June 28 at 9:41 p.m. regarding “a boater on Flathead Lake who was in trouble.” The boater, later identified as Chad Hansen, “somehow ended up in the water, separated from his boat,” the release states.

“Witnesses attempted to assist him, but were not able to, prompting a search and rescue mission,” according to Bell, who stated that teams from Lake County, Flathead County, Missoula County, and Kootenai County, Idaho, are deployed on Flathead Lake to locate Hansen.

“Based on the information gathered from witnesses, he has died of drowning,” the release states. “The Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s Office offers our condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Hansen and we commit to do our best to find him.”

Additional details were not available, neither about the precise location where Hansen became separated from his boating party on Flathead Lake, nor where crews are focusing their search. This story will be updated as more information comes to light.

Correction: Based on incorrect information disseminated to media outlets, an earlier version of this story misidentified the date on which Hansen went missing. It was Friday, June 28. The Beacon regrets the error.

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