Tulsa Man Drowns After Rescue Attempts Go Wrong, OHP Says - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |


Tulsa Man Drowns After Rescue Attempts Go Wrong, OHP Says

Posted: Updated:

The body of a 27-year-old Tulsa man was recovered after a drowning in Holdenville City Lake on Saturday afternoon, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol says.

According to an OHP report, the man did not know how to swim and was wearing a personal floatation device, but it was defective.

A boat passenger tried to rescue him, but that man had heart trouble during the attempt. Another passenger then tried to take the boat to the victim, but a ski rope got tangled in the boat’s propeller and disabled it, a report says.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said Marcus Watkins, of Tulsa, was in the water with two children in front of a pontoon boat near point 15 on Holdenville Lake about 3:20 p.m. The boat began to drift away, and Watkins began to struggle and called for help, OHP says.

Steve Gamske, 56, of Holdenville, swam out to rescue Watkins, but he became tired and had to hold on to a tree when Watkins went under, according to the report. Gamske caught his breath and swam back to shore, where he began to have heart trouble, the trooper says.

Kathleen Gamske, 50, tried to start the boat and offer help to Watkins, but a ski rope got tangled in the propeller and the boat became disabled, the report says.

The boat drifted back to the north shore with the Gamskes and the two children on board and was towed across the lake later.

Watkins was recovered in 26 feet of water, floating near the surface, OHP says. CPR was administered, but he was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Steve Gamske was taken to a Holdenville hospital, then transported to an Oklahoma City hospital, where he is being treated for heart issues.

Neither Kathleen Gamske nor the two children were injured, the report says.

Special Features

Live Traffic

Get the latest road conditions on Green Country roadways.

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

CBS Shows

Watch your favorite CBS shows for free online.


Looking for a website or event you heard mentioned on News On 6? Find it here!

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Special Coverage

  • Bridge Tracker

    How safe are Oklahoma's bridges? Use Bridge Tracker to find out now.

  • Fallen Heroes

    News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

  • Murrah Bombing Timeline

    Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

  • Storm Zone

    Watch tornadoes tear across Oklahoma and learn how to stay safe!

Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.