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Athens man dies in apparent accidental drowning

By Joe Johnson

An Athens man this week drowned in an apparent boating accident in Madison County.

According to a county sheriff’s incident report, Danielsville Road resident Willie Andrea Howard was boating in an area of Lake Seagraves in Hull at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday when his boat began to sink.

Two men who witnessed the incident from the shore swam out to try to save Howard but the victim went under and the witnesses were unable to find him.

Howard had still not been located when deputies arrived about six minutes after a 911 call was made to report the incident, according to the report.

Witnesses reportedly told deputies that Howard “was out in the lake his boat alone when his boat began sinking and he went underwater and never came back up,” according to the report.

After Howard’s body was recovered, the scene was turned over to the sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Division and the coroner’s office, the report noted.

 "Investigators are following up on the drowning but at this time it appears to be accidental,” Madison County Sheriff’s Capt. Jimmy Patton said.

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