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Woman drowns in Putnam County lake

INTERLACHEN, Fla. – The Putnam County Sheriff's Office said it is investigating an apparent accidental drowning that happened Thursday evening at Lake Grandin in Interlachen.

At about 7 p.m., deputies with the dive team, marine unit and major crimes unit responded to the report of a swimmer in distress who was last seen trying to reach a flotation device that had been thrown to her by a nearby boat.

The woman, later identified as 36-year-old Lee Ann Larson, of Interlachen, had been riding on a pontoon boat with two men before getting in the water to swim, deputies said.

They said that according to witness statements, Larson was swimming a short distance from the boat when she began to experience difficulty. Her companions were unable to get the boat restarted to reach her and they threw the flotation device to her before losing sight of her underwater, deputies said.

Emergency Services Capt. Tom Burger and volunteer fireman Tom Pellicer arrived and were taken by a civilian boater to the area Larson was last seen, and her body was recovered a short time later, deputies said. Larson was pronounced dead at the scene.

Deputies said preliminary results indicate an accident and that no foul play is suspected. However, deputies said, the investigation will continue pending results of an autopsy and toxicology reports from the Medical Examiner's Office.