By Patrick Winderl/Havre Daily Newsemail@example.com
The Box Elder man who drowned Monday had been trying to swim across Brown's Reservoir when he disappeared below the surface, Rocky Boy police said today.
Intoxication and the physical condition of Dean Blake Anderson, 42, lead to his drowning, Rocky Boy criminal investigator Jim Big Horn said. Weather and water conditions did not play a role, he added.
Anderson and a group of people had been drinking prior to their arrival at the reservoir Monday afternoon, Big Horn said. Brown's Reservoir is about 1 miles northeast of Box Elder.
"There was approximately a party of six or seven people who were drinking and decided to go swimming," Big Horn said.
Anderson decided to try to swim across near the dam, a distance of about 75 yards, the investigator said. Witnesses on shore said they lost sight of him for about five minutes. They located Anderson lying face down in the water and dragged him to shore, Big Horn said.
Two people began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the unconscious man while another called for an ambulance, Big Horn said. The Rocky Boy ambulance crew continued trying to revive him on the way to Northern Montana Hospital, but Anderson never regained consciousness.
He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. The death has been ruled an accident.
Big Horn said the drowning occurred shortly after the group arrived at the reservoir.
"The whole incident took about 45 minutes, between the time they got to the lake and the time the ambulance arrived," he said.
Deputy Hill County coroner Les Osborn was called at 3:56 p.m. Monday to perform a coroner's inquest on a drowning victim. Osborn said a toxicology report indicated Anderson was under the influence of alcohol.
Anderson was a 1977 graduate of Glasgow High School. After graduating, he moved to Los Angeles, where he worked for his brother-in-law as a plumber. He returned to Montana in 1994 and worked as a plumber in Great Falls. He also lived in Lolo and then moved to Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation in May. He was an avid fisherman and bowler, his family said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.