Eielson airman drowns in base lake

Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- An Eielson Air Force Base serviceman drowned Wednesday morning after trying to swim across Polaris Lake on base.

The airman's name has not been released pending notification of next-of-kin.

Maj. Valerie Trefts said the victim and another airman took a break from work to swim the length of the lake, roughly 100 yards. Trefts said one of the men made it all the way but the other apparently tired and went under three-quarters of the way across.

Trefts said it appeared the first swimmer either did not notice the trouble or was too exhausted to help.

''The other swimmer did the best he could just to get to the side,'' she said.

A supervisor swam out and dove down several times in search of the victim but could not reach him. The supervisor returned to shore and called 911.

Alaska State Trooper divers found the body at 12:12 p.m.

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