Herbert Jones, 07-04-99
Lee Kirkwood Lewis, 07-06-99

Anchorage Daily News
Wednesday, July 07, 1999
DROWNING FEARED DEATHS (with corrections)
By Julia O'malley, Daily News Reporter
Illustrated By Ron Engstrom

A Selawik man and an Anchorage man apparently drowned in separate accidents over the July Fourth weekend.

Herbert Jones, 33, of Selawik died in a boating accident near his Northwest Alaska hunting and fishing camp.

Jones was last seen Saturday night driving in circles in his 16-foot skiff on a tributary of the Selawik River. Troopers said Jones apparently fell from the boat and drowned. He was not wearing a life jacket.

Family members who were celebrating Independence Day with him at his camp told Alaska State Troopers he had consumed about a gallon and half of home-brew during the evening, trooper Eric Olsen said.

The other relatives, including Jones' wife, also had been drinking and fell sleep soon after Jones left, Olsen said.

A relative found Jones' empty Lund skiff drifting early Sunday morning and called troopers. After a two-hour search, Jones' body was found on the river bottom.

Selawik is a dry community of 750 at the mouth of the Selawik River, about 70 miles southeast of Kotzebue.

In the second apparent drowning, the body of Lee Kirkwood Lewis, 45, was found floating in Big Lake on Tuesday, troopers said.

Trooper spokesman Tim DeSpain said Lewis had called his wife late Monday to say he was backing his truck and trailer down a ramp into the lake at the Southshore state campground to reposition his boat on the trailer.

"The next thing we know is that at 9:30 this morning witnesses saw the truck and trailer in the water and he was not around," DeSpain said.

At 10:27 a.m. Tuesday, Lewis's body was found floating between his truck and the boat trailer.

DeSpain said paramedics could not revive the man. There was no immediate evidence of foul play, he said, but troopers planned to examine the body nfurther.