Man drowns in lake near Soldotna

Posted: Tuesday, June 02, 2009

ANCHORAGE - A 45-year-old Soldotna man drowned on Longmere Lake on the Kenai Peninsula.

Alaska State Troopers say Willie Owens was fishing alone just before 8 a.m. Saturday in a 12-foot aluminum boat that capsized.

He was about 80 yards from shore and was wearing waders but no life jacket. Troopers said he could not swim.

Fifty-eight-year-old Peter Thomson swam out to Owens while Steven Stenga, another neighbor, loaded a boat and tried to reach him.

The two men brought Owens to shore but he was unconscious and not breathing. Troopers say he had been in the water about 15 minutes.

Owens did not regain consciousness. He was pronounced dead at Central Peninsula Hospital.

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