Ryan Rechner 6/30/96 Redshirt Lake Boating Drown

Anchorage man drowns in lake

ADN 07/02/96

A 22-year-old Anchorage man drowned Sunday afternoon in Redshirt Lake just north of Wasilla after his canoe overturned in choppy water and he tried to swim to shore, Alaska State Troopers said. Ryan Rechner was fishing with a friend when their canoe flipped, troopers said. The friend stayed with the boat while Rechner decided to swim. He made it about 50 feet and then sank, the friend told troopers. Neither man was wearing a lifejacket, troopers said. The friend said he tried to save Rechner but couldn't reach him. Another boater pulled Rechner to the surface, but it was too late. It was unclear how far from shore the two were when the canoe flipped. There was no indication the men had been drinking, troopers said. Located about 30 miles north of Wasilla, Redshirt Lake is part of the Nancy Lake State Recreation Area and is a favorite among pike fisherman. State park ranger John Wilber said Rechner's death was the first recorded drowning in the area since it was created in 1968.