Cory Burgess, 06-30-07
Anthony Williams, 07-01-07
Boat accidents claim two Alaska-based GIs
Anchorage Daily News, July 3, 2007
Two Alaska-based soldiers who weren't wearing life jackets died last weekend in
separate boating accidents, the Army reported Monday.
Spc. Cory Burgess, 23, drowned at Fort Richardson's Clunie Lake early Saturday morning
while trying to swim ashore after the canoe he was fishing from capsized. Two other
soldiers fishing with Burgess made it safely to shore. They tried to rescue Burgess
but couldn't, according to a written statement from the Army. Burgess, of Ragley,
La., was a military policeman stationed at Fort Richardson in Anchorage since October
At Chena Lake near Fairbanks, the body of Pfc. Anthony Williams, 21, was recovered
Sunday. Williams, from Texarkana, Texas, was with his wife and another soldier Saturday
in a rowboat about 150 feet from shore when the wind blew Williams' hat into the
water, the release said.
The other soldier jumped into the water to get the hat. Williams stood up and lost
his balance and fell into the water. The other soldier and Williams' wife tried
to rescue Williams but couldn't.
Alaska State Troopers responded to the scene. The incident is under investigation
but foul play is not suspected.
Williams, an infantryman with B Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, had
been stationed at Fort Wainwright near Fairbanks since October.
No one in either boating party wore life jackets, the Army said.
Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said autopsy results indicate drowning to be the
apparent cause of Williams' death.
"Alcohol was involved but to what degree will be determined," she said.
Toxicology results will not be available for a month or longer, she said.
In Burgess's death at Clunie Lake, the initial military police report said the three
soldiers from the 164th Military Police Company were fishing at about 1:30 a.m.
when their canoe flipped and they were dumped into the lake.
As the three swam to shore, Burgess became fatigued and went under, said Bob Hall,
a spokesman for U.S. Army Alaska.
Burgess enlisted in April 2003. He had been stationed at Fort Richardson since October
Both Burgess' and Williams' next of kin have been notified.