Crews search Minnesota River in Belle Plaine after locating unoccupied boat

Rescuers are searching the Minnesota River after a running boat was found unoccupied.

According to the Scott County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to the unoccupied boat call around 10:50 a.m. near the Hwy. 25 bridge in Belle Plaine. It is unknown how many people were on board.

Witnesses said they saw the boat running near the shoreline and could not see an operator.

Multiple agencies responded, searching both the water and the shoreline. As of Monday evening, no one has been located.

"The Minnesota River is always very strong in this area, it’s a very curvy river with a lot of debris," said Scott Haas, Director of Emeregency Management & Communications.

Haas said it is unknown if the person the boat is registered to is the individual missing. Officials say the missing person is likely a fisherman familiar with the area.

"Many of our first responders are anglers and outdoorsmen and women themselves, so coming out and enjoying a holiday weekend on a boat is something many of us have participated and enjoyed...seeing what has complicated this situation is difficult," Haas said.

Officials searched long into the evening as long as lighting conditions permitted. The rescuers will continue the search Tuesday morning.

Assisting Scott County is the Carver County Sheriff’s Office, Sibley County Sheriff’s Office, Belle Plaine Police, Minnesota DNR, Minnesota State Patrol, Belle Plaine Fire, Jordan Fire, Henderson Fire, Carver Fire, Shakopee Mdewakanton Public Safety, Carver County Dive Team and Ridgeview Ambulance.