‘You never want to go through this’: Search continues for missing Spring Green boater

SPRING GREEN, Wis. — Sauk County officials are searching for a 22-year-old boater who was thrown overboard into the Wisconsin River following a Saturday afternoon boating collision.

Authorities said they were still searching the river for the Arena man, Parker Kruse, on Monday, after searching every day since his disappearance.

The family and friends of the missing man have also gathered at the Wisconsin Riverside Resort near where Kruse first went missing and said they intend to be there as long as it takes to find their boy.

Kruse’s mother Jackie Johnson-Kruse said when she first heard the news she was in a state of disbelief.

“To have a sheriff come to your door and ask you if you’re somebody’s parent,” she said. “It’s the worst. You never want to go through this.”

She went on to say the moral of this tragic story is to wear your life jacket.

Johnson-Kruse said her son was wearing a life jacket but in his haste to assist the other boater in the collision his jacket wasn’t fastened properly.

“If that guy would have had his life jacket on, that he helped, we would not be in this situation,” she said of the other boater.

She hopes more people will understand how dangerous the Wisconsin river is adding there should be a law requiring life jackets at all times on the river called Parker’s law.

Those who knew Kruse best described him as an old soul, a hardworking individual, and someone who got along with everybody.

“You’ll find him once in a lifetime kind of person, no one will come close,” said Kruse’s girlfriend Kourtney Higgins.

Department of Natural Resources Warden Supervisor Mike Green said the events surrounding the crash are still under investigation and that recovery efforts will continue.

The Spring Green Fire Department, Rock Fire Department, Sauk County Sheriff’s Department and the DNR responded to the initial incident.