Man drowns after falling off boat and trying to swim

Posted: Wednesday, June 04, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) Rescue personnel Tuesday night recovered the body of a man who fell into Big Lake and attempted to swim to shore.

Jay Dee Surratt, 60, of Big Lake, fell into the water while operating a boat.

Alaska State Troopers said Surratt was performing tight turns at around 9:40 p.m. when he fell into the lake about 300 feet from the shoreline.

Surratt was the only one in the boat. He spoke to another person from the water and said he was not injured, troopers said. He then began to swim toward shore.

About three minutes after falling in, Surratt disappeared under the surface. He was not wearing a personal flotation device, troopers said.

Emergency service divers searched the waters Monday night and all day Tuesday. His body was found at about 6:45 p.m. Tuesday.

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