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One Drowns, One Saved In Marina Incident

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

National Park News

On September 25th, rangers Scott Hall, Brooke Henthorne, and Alex Sehman responded to a report of a drowning at the Ok-A-Beh Marina. Upon arrival, they were advised that there were two victims, one who had been rescued from the Day Board Nine Campground after being underwater for approximately 30 minutes and a 70-year old man who was experiencing chest pains. Investigation revealed that Earl Watt, 56, was at the Day Board Nine campground when he saw his boat drifting into the lake. Watt swam to the boat, became tired, grabbed a nearby buoy, and then sank beneath it. Boaters in the area responded Watt’s family’s calls for help and found him in approximately 10 feet of water. He was taken aboard a bystander’s boat and transported to the Ok-A-Beh Marina. While en route to the marina, a 70-year-old man in Watt’s party began experiencing chest pains. Henthorne met the cardiac patient near the marina and assumed patient care until the Bighorn County ambulance arrived and transported him to Hardin, Montana. Hall and Sehman secured the marina as a crime scene and investigation until other assistance arrived. A joint investigation by the National Park Service, Bighorn County Sheriff’s Office, and Bureau of Indian Affairs determined that the drowning was an accident.  Scott Hall is the lead investigator.


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