Search of Milwaukee River for man who reportedly jumped from tour boat now a recovery mission

MILWAUKEE -- A search of the Milwaukee River resumed Sunday morning, August 2nd around 8:00 a.m. for a man who apparently jumped into the water from a tour boat. By Sunday night, the effort was being called a recovery mission.

The U.S. Coast Guard launched a boat around 7:40 a.m., and one hour later, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources joined the search effort. The Milwaukee Police Department was also involved.

Divers went into the water around 11:00 a.m.

Miss Wisconsin Tour Boat

The search began early Sunday morning -- shortly after midnight. That's when a man reportedly jumped into the water from the Miss Wisconsin Tour Boat.

Scott Eisenhardt saw the whole thing unfold from his balcony.

"All of a sudden a boat slows down and there was a lot of yelling and we were just trying to figure out what happened there. I'm just concerned for whoever it was. There was quite a bit of commotion going on. There were people moving around the boat. There were people throwing things into the water," Eisenhardt said.

Search resumes for man in Milwaukee River

Witnesses say the man appeared intoxicated -- and he jumped into the river on his own, and began swimming in the water.

The man reportedly refused to grab a life ring that was thrown out for him, and he eventually went under and didn't resurface.

Search resumes for man in Milwaukee River

The search picked back up Sunday morning after it was suspended for a brief time.

From 7:40 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., search boats circled a 200-yard radius in the area around N. Water and E. Buffalo.

Around 10:00 a.m., crews were focusing their search around a cement wall on the west side of the river -- directly across from the Water Buffalo restaurant. That's where divers were going into the water.

We're told sonar equipment was also being used as part of this search.

Scott Barth was one of several people who stopped to watch the search on Sunday.

"Everybody said he basically ran and jumped off the boat.  There`s not a lot you can do about that," Barth said.

The search was suspended on Sunday night -- and officials said it would resume on Monday morning.

The man whom officials are looking for is described as a Hispanic or light-skinned African-American man. He is in his 40s or 50s, and stands 5'6" tall and weighs around 155 pounds. He has a shaved head, and was wearing a white tank top, dark pants and a brown Fedora-style hat. He has tattoos on his biceps.

The Miss Wisconsin Tour Boat was carrying 134 passengers at the time of the incident.

Miss Wisconsin Tour Boat

Edelweiss Boat Cruises released the following statement to FOX6 News:

"We have never had anyone jump overboard on our cruise ships, however; our captain and crew members are trained to handle these situations, and (Saturday) night, they did everything they could to save the man. We are cooperating with authorities to add value to this situation anyway we can."

Search of the Milwaukee River near Water and Buffalo

If you have any information that could help in this case, you're asked to contact Milwaukee police.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Edelweiss Boat Cruises, and the cruises offered on the Milwaukee River.

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this developing story.