Searchers returned Monday morning to Lake of the Woods in far northern Minnesota hoping to find three men whose small boat was found capsized two days earlier.

The three men, all from nearby Baudette, were last seen late Friday leaving Sunset Lodge resort on Oak Island, near the Canadian border on the lake’s north side, according to the Lake of the Woods County Sheriff’s Office.

The three were identified by the Sheriff’s Office as Keith R. Ayers, 28; Cody J. Ostendorf, 24, and Justin K. Haugtvedt, 22.

The 16-foot boat turned up midafternoon Saturday near the northeast corner of nearby Flag Island, authorities said. Sheriff Gary Fish said three life jackets were recovered from the lake.

Joining the Sheriff’s Office in the search effort were the U.S. Border Patrol and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Fish said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, based in Grand Forks, N.D., has provided a plane for the search.

Weather conditions Monday were favorable on the lake, with the winds dying down. On Friday, winds were gusting up to 35 miles per hour near where the boat was found.

Paul Walsh