OSHA Investigating Harveys Lake Drowning

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HARVEYS LAKE -- Federal officials are trying to figure out how a man who was working on a boathouse by Harveys Lake was shocked and then drowned.

Luzerne County officials said Dakota Watkins, 24, was working to fix an electrical problem on the boathouse Thursday when he was shocked. He plunged into the lake and drowned.

William Streater has a boathouse near the one Watkins was working on.

"It's just a shame, a young man like that? It's too bad" Streater said.

Emergency crews were called to the lakeside home just after 5 p.m. Thursday. When crews arrived, they found Watkins' body in the lake. Now officials from OSHA are investigating possible work-related violations.

"OSHA was very disturbed by what they found today at the scene," Harveys Lake Police Chief Charles Musial said.

What they found included some electrical equipment--like part of a jet ski lift in the water--still running. Investigators are trying to determine who left it that way.

"Electrical work to the whole structure was not done properly," Musial added.

Harveys Lake police say Watkins had told neighbors to stay away from the area because of a possible electrical problem. He tried fixing it, but it was too late.

"OSHA will go forward with this matter and they do whatever they need to bring justice to this family," said Musial.

At this time, police say there is no more work allowed on that boathouse until new permits are applied for. OSHA says this investigation is in the very early stages and it does not know how long it could take to complete.

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