The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) reported a Fort Smith man drowned on Kerr Lake at about 12:32 p.m. on Monday.
The OHP reported Claudie D. Copeland, 69, of Fort Smith was in a boat operated by Jackie D. Copeland, 46, of Sallisaw.
The vessel, a 1996 Stratos 17-foot boat, was reported to be about 80 yards from the shore, a quarter mile north of Applegate Cove Marina, when the Copelands had the boat motor up and the boat began taking on water due to lake conditions. For an unknown reason they were unable to get the motor lowered and the boat sank.
The OHP reported Jackie Copeland was able to swim for shore and go for assistance. Claudie Copeland was unable to swim for shore and drowned. His body then drifted ashore, the OHP reported, and recovery was made about six feet from the shore in two feet of water.
The Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office assisted the OHP in the investigation of the drowning.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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