Lakewood police are investigating the accidental drowning of a 24-year-old Tacoma man who died after his canoe overturned early Sunday on Lake Steilacoom.
Nickolas Munson was pronounced dead at St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood after the accident.
Police Lt. Chris Lawler said the department’s Marine Services Unit was investigating was happened and whether any boating regulations were violated.
Lawler gave this account of what happened:
Munson and his girlfriend had spent Saturday at a friend’s house near the lake. The girlfriend wanted to leave about midnight, but Munson wanted to stay.
Munson and his 23-year-old friend went to the dock and eventually got into the canoe. They went out onto the lake, where they were singing and rocking in the canoe until it capsized about 100 yards from shore.
The two initially clung to the overturned canoe and called for help for about 20 minutes. A neighbor heard their cries and grabbed life jackets. He managed to direct the friend to shore but couldn’t find Munson.
Divers from West Pierce Fire & Rescue found Munson less than five minutes later in about 9 feet of water. They brought him to shore, and paramedics took him to St. Clare, where he was pronounced dead.
Police are investigating whether alcohol was a factor in the man’s death.
Stacey Mulick, email@example.com