The Norman Transcript

October 10, 2013

Thunderbird drowning victim identified

By Jessica Bruha
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma Highway Patrol identified the victim of a drowning Thursday after the man swam out to retrieve his boat at Lake Thunderbird on Wednesday night.

Christopher Park, 59, of Choctaw was unloading his 14-foot boat from the trailer at the Little Axe Campground boat ramp when he slipped, fell and his boat began to drift, said Lt. Mike Roe, a trooper on scene Wednesday. Park then went out to a rocky point at ramp to enter the water and swim 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 were able to get 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.