New Castle News

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April 24, 2014

Latest Update: Rescuers reflect on woman’s drowning

NEW CASTLE — The day ended tragically for a Slippery Rock Township couple who went fishing Tuesday on a private lake.

The body of Nancy Ellen List, 26, of 6074 Old Route 422 Extension, was pulled from the lake at 2:25 p.m. yesterday following an all-day search.

Divers, who located her body said Nancy was found in about eight feet of water in a man-made lake created 15 to 20 years ago.

The lake, which covers three to five acres, is on private property in a woods off Countyline Road in Scott Township. State police said they believe the property is privately owned by Joe Bintrim.

Divers said the water was extremely murky, limiting their visibility.

State police said List and her husband, Michael William List, 29, went fishing there Tuesday afternoon.

After their small aluminum rowboat capsized between 7 and 8 p.m., the couple tried to hold onto the boat and swim with it to shore, but Nancy List went under.

“The husband said the boat flipped over and they tried to hold onto it and swim with it to shore. He said he saw her struggling and then she slipped under the surface of the water,” Trooper Randolph Guy said. “He said he tried to rescue her but the water was so murky, he couldn’t see anything.”

Guy said the lake was also filled with debris including logs and tree stumps, which made recovery difficult.

Guy said the couple had been married about two years. He added that the husband said they had fished on the lake before.

Michael List told officers that when he could not find his wife, he managed to get to a residence to summon help.

Fire and rescue departments got the call at 8:23 p.m. Tuesday.

Scott Township Fire Chief Jack Hitchen, one of the divers, said police, fire and rescue departments remained on the scene until about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday when the search was called off due to poor visibility. They resumed the search at 8 a.m. yesterday morning.

He said rescue units Tuesday night included Scott, Hickory, Princeton and Slippery Rock volunteer fire departments and the Lawrence County Dive Team.

Units responding yesterday included the Swift Water Rescue Team of Butler County from Zelienople, the Lawrence County Dive Team, the Scott Township fire department and the Beaver County Swift Water Rescue unit, which included a sonar unit.

The state police helicopter also helped with the search. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is also investigating because it was a boating accident. The state police also are continuing to investigate.

Hitchen said 40 to 50 divers and support staff responded.

“It was the sonar unit that helped us to locate her,” Hitchen said. “Visibility was extremely limited.”

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.commailto:nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)

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