Wisconsin Educator Drowns During Fundraising Mission on Lake Superior

By KBJR News 1

Map: Kayaker Death
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June 19, 2012 Updated Jun 19, 2012 at 10:05 PM CST

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - The kayaker at the center of a search on the frigid waters of Lake Superior on Sunday has been identified.

57-year-old Robert Weitzel's body was pulled from the waters by the Canadian Coast Guard after a personal locator beacon was received from his location one mile from Pigeon Bay near the Canadian border.

Weitzel, of Middleton, Wisconsin, was a teacher at Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District. He was on a mission to raise money for urban at-risk children to help them undergo "wilderness therapy," according to the Middleton Time-Tribune. The program, "Big City Mountaineers," would give teens a chance to grow strong and confident on wilderness trips.

According to the newspaper, the avid outdoors-man had hoped to travel 1,200 miles around Lake Superior to raise a total of $5,000. According to a YouTube video Weitzel has posted, he also dedicated the trip to his younger brother who died of pneumonia at the young age of 18 months.

Weitzel was located by the Canadian Coastguard at 11:30 Sunday morning. According to the Thunder Bay Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police, 30 mile an hour winds and the 42 degree water temperature contributed to the death.

Kevin Jacobsen
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