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Alexandria Bay police name drowning victim

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ALEXANDRIA BAY — Village police late Monday morning identified the victim of an apparent drowning Saturday as a Florida man who was a civilian worker at Fort Drum.

The body of Michael Nathan Puchek, 22, Lighthouse Point, Fla., was recovered by divers at 12:45 p.m. Sunday in the St. Lawrence River within village limits.

The body was removed to Samaritan Medical Center, Watertown, where an autopsy was to be conducted Monday by Dr. Samuel A. Livingstone, Jefferson County medical examiner.

Police Chief James M. Marshall said information provided by people who were with Mr. Puchek on Friday night indicates that he was intoxicated and that he apparently fell into the river behind River Hospital. The body was recovered in the same area, where the water depth extends to about 60 feet, he said.

State police, the Coast Guard, the Jefferson County Special Tactics and Rescue Team, state park police and the village fire department were involved in the search, which began about 10:30 p.m. Saturday after several people heard a man’s shouts for help.

Chief Marshall said there is no suspicion of foul play. He said Mr. Puchek had been at some village taverns with co-workers, but was alone after those people had gone their separate ways.

Mr. Puchek, who was single, was at Fort Drum doing range work contracted by the Army Corps of Engineers with a company identified as ITSI, the chief said.

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