GREAT FALLS — The Toole County Sheriff's Office is searching for two men who have been reported missing.
The Sheriff's Office said in a news release that at about 8 p.m. on Monday they received a report of two over-due fishermen from Missoula County who were camping on the north side of the Marias River in Toole County.
Investigators learned that the men had left camp earlier in the day to visit people staying at a second camp located on the south side of the river west of South Bootlegger. When they did not return, a third man in their party went to find them, following their tracks to an area of open water.
After an extensive search of the area, the only tracks located leaving the campsite were tracks leading onto the ice and into an area of open water. Floating in the open water were items identified by the initial reporting party as being on the side-by-side when it left camp. Air and ground search efforts turned up no further clues that anyone left the water.
A recovery effort was attempted with the assistance of the Flathead County Sheriff's Office, and Two Bear Air Rescue using their underwater camera. This effort was unsuccessful because of harsh weather conditions.
The Toole County Sheriff's Office is continuing to work to locate and recover the missing men. The names of the men has not been released at this point.
Toole County Sheriff's deputies continue searching, and are receiving assistance from Toole County Search & Rescue, Cascade County Search & Rescue, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Toole County Ambulance, Cascade County Sheriff's Office, and North Toole County Fire for radio assistance.