Man missing and presumed drowned in Chena River boating mishap

Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A man is missing and presumed drowned after falling overboard while boating on the Chena River.

Aaron Keller, 28, was boating with Michael D. Jamba, 50, and Susan Speranza, 49, both of Fairbanks, near the University Avenue Bridge and saw Keller fall into the river on Wednesday.

Jamba said the boaters were drinking and that the boat had some engine problems, said Alaska State Trooper Larry Erickson.

''(Jamba) was on the shore holding onto the rope and the victim was sitting on the edge of the boat. Another boat came by and rocked the boat and he fell off,'' Erickson said.

Jamba then jumped in the river and tried to save Keller. Erickson said Speranza fell into the river later near the University Avenue bridge boat dock as she and Jamba were returning to get help.

Both were treated for hypothermia.

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