Nicholas M. Newman, 06-27-99

Anchorage Daily News
Tuesday, June 29, 1999

By Julia O'malley, Daily News Reporter

Rescuers identified a 15-year-old boy who apparently drowned after falling from his personal watercraft Sunday.

Anchorage Fire Department divers pulled the body of Nicholas M. Newman out of a pond along the Seward Highway late Sunday night. Newman was riding his personal watercraft with family about 6:30 p.m. when he fell from the machine, Alaska State Troopers said.

"He fell off and came up for air once, then went back down and came up for air again, and then didn't come up," said Greg Wilkinson, trooper spokesman.

Family members were watching him when he went under for the last time, Wilkinson said. Newman was not wearing a life jacket when he fell.

Anchorage firefighters, divers and Girdwood Emergency Medical Services responded to a 911 call from a family member. After a 90-minute search a helicopter spotted his body in the pond.

The pond is at Mile 88 on the Seward Highway, about two miles beyond the Girdwood turnoff. There were no signs posted at the pond prohibiting swimming, Wilkinson said.

Newman was from Anchorage and was a sophomore at East High School. He also played football in the Pop Warner league. Although troopers believe the cause of death was drowning, it will not be confirmed until an autopsy is performed.