Weekend Drowning at Lake Wilson UPDATE

Lake Wilson

Lake Wilson

11:00 a.m.  The Russell  County Sheriff’s office has confirmed the name of the victim in the weekend drowning at Lake Wilson is George Willenberg, age 38 of Hoisington.  Emergency crews pulled Willenberg’s body from the lake on Sunday. It was the state’s third drowning over the weekend.

From the Russell Sheriff: Russell County authorities have recovered the body of a Hoisington man who went missing and drowned Saturday evening at Wilson Lake.

According to a press release from Russell County Sheriff John Fletcher, on the evening of July 6, 2013 at approximately 8:43 PM the Russell County Sheriff’s Office received a call of a missing man in the Rock Town area of Lake Wilson.

The Sheriffs Office along with officers from Wildlife and Parks, Corps of Engineers, Russell City Fire Department, Lucas Fire Department and Russell County Emergency Management responded.

It was determined a 38-year-old male from Hoisington had tried to swim across the coves in Rock Town after the boat he was on had mechanical problems. The two people remaining with the boat advised they saw him swimming and then did not see his head come up again.

A search of the ground area around the cove was done using ATV’s. At approximately 12:36 AM the search was suspended until daylight.

At 6 AM on July 7, 2013 the search continued on land and water. At 7:46 AM the command post was advised that the boats searching the water had a positive response from side scan sonar where the last place the missing person was seen. Bill Hickert, a professional diver from Russell, assisted and located the body at 9:24 AM.

The body was removed and the Russell County Assistant Coroner was contacted. The body was released to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary in Russell.

The name of the individual is not being released until a later time pending notification of relatives.

Alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor in the drowning.


Sunday 4 p.m.  Emergency crews pulled the body of a Hoisington man from lake Wilson. It was the state’s third drowning over the weekend. Witnesses say the 38 year old man tried to swim across a cove after his boat had some mechanical problems.

Two people on the boat said they saw the man go under water and not come up again. Authorities say alcohol may have played a part in the drowning. The name of the victim has not been released.

  • Darwin

    That is the third this weekend. Saddening. Why aren’t people wearing lifejackets? Its not a swimming pool and there is no lifeguard on duty. Come on people these are totally preventable!