Athens Review, Athens, Texas

April 22, 2013

Man drowns in Lake Palestine

Man falls into water from boat near Chandler

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — A 46-year-old Tyler resident drowned on Lake Palestine  Sunday,  Texas Park and Wildlife Department Capt. Mike Hanson said.

Hanson said Frederick Perkins was on board a boat near Point Royal, south of Chandler, when he fell into the water. Perkins tried to swim to shore, but went under.

Game wardens, along with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, recovered the body, according to Hanson. “They had some eyewitness accounts of where he went down. They were able to take the Henderson County sonar boat and find him.”

According to Henderson County Sheriff’s Office reports, dispatch received a 9-1-1 call after 7 p.m. reporting the possible drowning. Texas Parks & Wildlife Game Wardens, HCSO personnel and volunteer fire departments from Westside and Coffee City were paged to the location. The Noonday VFD in Smith County was also called.

After a search of more than four hours, Perkins’ body was discovered. Henderson County Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Sue Starnes was called to the site.

Hanson said he’s not sure exactly how Perkins ended up in the water. He was apparently trying to untie a stringer from the side of the boat. The boat may have taken in water and turned over, or it may have capsized when he tried to get back in.

“There was a lady in the boat with him,” Hanson said. “She was wearing a life jacket, and he was not wearing a life jacket. She went in the water, as well. They were able to save her, but he went down.”