The Norman Transcript

October 11, 2013

Victim of drowning identified

By Jessica Bruha
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — The Oklahoma Highway Patrol identified the victim of a drowning Thursday.

The man drowned Wednesday night after he swam out to retrieve his boat at Lake Thunderbird.

Christopher Park, 59, of Choctaw, was unloading his 14-foot boat from the trailer at the Little Axe Campground boat ramp when he slipped and fell and his boat began to drift, said Lt. Mike Roe, a trooper on scene.

Park then went out to a rocky point at the ramp, entered the water and swam to retrieve the boat, which continued to drift away, Roe said.

A witness tried to go in after Park when he saw what happened, but the water was too cold, the trooper said. Unable to get to the boat, treading in about 12 feet of water and unable to get back to shore, Park drowned.

Crews got to the lake with equipment around 6 p.m. and found him about an hour later.

It was the first drowning to occur at Lake Thunderbird this year.