Sheriff: Appleton father drowned while trying to rescue daughter from pond at Wautoma campground

Lake of the Woods Campground

WAUTOMA — A weekend camping trip with family turned deadly Saturday afternoon, Aug. 10 in Wautoma.

According to WLUK, Erik Williams, 36, of Appleton, found himself trying to save his daughter as she struggled in a pond at the Lake of the Woods Campground.

“It was reported by a witness that his oldest daughter was calling for help, and a seasonal camper that was nearby saw that and pulled her to shore, and then went back in the water to get Erik,” Marquette County Sheriff Joe Konrath told WLUK.

Witnesses performed CPR on Williams until first responders arrived. Sheriff Konrath said he was pronounced dead shortly after.

“I spoke with Erik’s father this morning and, of course, it’s a very tragic incident, and they’re struggling with it, and searching for answers, but we do not expect any foul play, but it is currently under investigation,” Sheriff Konrath told WLUK.

Because the lake is located on private property, WLUK was not allowed to get footage of the area.

The sheriff said investigators would be working with the management company for the campground as the investigation continued. He also offered a reminder about being safe around unfamiliar waters, or any water, for that matter.

“There have been several drownings already this year west of Marquette County in Sauk County,” said Sheriff Konrath. “So people need to take precautionary measures when going in waters, whether its lakes, rivers, or ponds.”

Lake of the Woods officials issued this statement to WLUK: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of Mr. Williams, and our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Lake of the Woods Campground

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