Search Crews Continue Efforts Along Kankakee River


Search Crews Continue Efforts Along Kankakee River


May 08, 2020

Kankakee, IL – On Thursday, May 7, 2020 at 2:02 p.m., the Kankakee Fire Department received a phone call of an overturned boat in the Kankakee river. Fire Department personnel responded along with the Kankakee Police Department. Eyewitnesses accounts corroborated seeing one to two people in the water downstream of the Washington Avenue Bridge.

A rescue boat was launched and the Kankakee River was searched west of the bridge. Rescue boats were called in from surrounding departments. Kankakee fire and police set up a unified command post. Additional resources from other Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) Divisions and Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) responded with boats, dam rescue equipment, dive teams and sonar capability. Boats remained in the water until sunset. Kankakee County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) responded, as well as, the Kankakee Valley Park District. 

Search and recovery efforts continued Friday morning. Four cadaver dogs assisted with the search and a helicopter conducted an extensive search downstream for the accident site. Additional boats equipped with sonar, a technique used to detect objects on or under the surface of water, was also utilized.

“I would like to thank all community area departments who responded to help with search and rescue. Unfortunately, at this time, there are no positive search results. We will continue to investigate and continue our search,” said Fire Chief Damon Schuldt.

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The City of Kankakee is dedicated to protecting, building and nurturing the community while enhancing lives. We are a historic, vibrant, and active riverfront community. We continue to transform into an extraordinary place to dream, grow, and thrive. Embracing our diversity, we strive to be progressive, inclusive, and innovative. For more information on the City of Kankakee, please visit the website at


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