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UPDATED: Tacoma man drowns during late night canoe outing on Lakewood lake

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on April 24, 2012 at 9:23 am |
April 24, 2012 12:08 pm

UPDATED at 12:08 p.m.

A 24-year-old Tacoma man drowned early Sunday when his canoe overturned on Lake Steilacoom.

Nickolas Munson was pronounced dead at St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood.

Lakewood police Lt. Chris Lawler gave this account.

Munson and his girlfriend had spent Saturday at a friend’s house near the lake. Around midnight, the girlfriend wanted to leave 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 to the lake, where they were singing and rocking in the canoe until it capsized about 100 yards from shore.

The two initially were able to cling to the overturned canoe as they called for help. The friend estimated they’d been in the water for about 20 minutes.

A neighbor heard their cries for help and grabbed life jackets to help. When the friend neared shore, he noticed that Munson was not with him.

Divers from West Pierce Fire & Rescue responded and found Munson less than five minutes later in about nine feet of water.

They brought him to shore and paramedics took him to St. Clare, where he was pronounced dead. A memorial page for Munsion has been set up on Facebook here.

Lawler said the drowning was accidental. The department’s Marine Services Unit was investigating was happened and what equipment was needed – if any – on board the canoe.

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