Sheriff releases name of Albert Lea drowning victim

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(ABC 6 News) – The Albert Lea Police Department confirms one person has drowned at Fountain Lake in Albert Lea.

According to Freeborn County Sheriff Ryan Shea, 66-year-old Matthew Jay Anderson was loading a pontoon onto his trailer at the Edgewater boat landing a little before 11:00 a.m. Thursday.

It is unclear why Anderson entered the water, but Shea said law enforcement suspects his pontoon floated away, and Anderson went into the lake after it.

Anderson’s Jeep was backed up to the edge of the lake when law enforcement arrived.

Shea said a bystander near the park heard “hollering” and realized Anderson was struggling to stay afloat.

The unnamed man took his own pontoon onto the water, but did not arrive in time to find Anderson.

A DNR officer was already on the lake and arrived on scene almost immediately. The officer was pointed to an area approximately 20 feet east of the dock at the landing with the water about 8.5 deep in this area.

Arriving officers from the Albert Lea Police Department, Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office and Albert Lea Fire Department assisted the DNR with boats and began dive searches in the area.

The Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office was able to locate the victim after about one hour using side imaging technology.

One member of the Albert Lea Fire Department was injured during the search when he was stuck with a hook from one of the bottom drags.

ABC 6 News will update this story as more information is available.