MADAWASKA, Maine — The body of a 29-year-old St. Agatha man was recovered Thursday after divers from the Maine Warden Service Dive Team resumed a search that started late Wednesday afternoon.
Deborah Turcotte, spokeswoman for the state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said Thursday afternoon that Kareem A. Shaik, 29, of St. Agatha went missing in Long Lake after diving into the water in an attempt to retrieve a recreational water tube for some children at Birch Point in Madawaska.
Turcotte said that he entered the water just after 4 p.m. to try to get the water tube, which was drifting away.
His body was recovered at 10:15 a.m. Thursday.
Witnesses told the Maine Warden Service that they saw Shaik swimming to the tube. They said that as he was swimming to it, Shaik began to struggle and went under the water. He never resurfaced.
Warden service Sgt. Brian Gray said first responders fielded conflicting information about the incident when it was reported initially.
Gray said wardens first were told that Shaik was trying to get a child’s float toy.
Instead, it was a recreational tube that is pulled behind a boat. The children were using it as a float in the water.
Shaik’s body was recovered in 9 feet of water approximately 100 yards from shore.
His body was taken to Michaud Funeral Home in St. Agatha, and a representative from the state medical examiner’s office is expected to determine the cause of death soon.
Several St. Agatha residents working at businesses in town said Shaik had not lived in the area for very long, but had numerous family members in the region. His phone number was not listed.
Public safety officials from Madawaska Police Department, Madawaska Fire and Ambulance, Fort Kent Ambulance, and an Edmundston, New Brunswick, dive team assisted in the search.
The incident is under investigation by the Maine Warden Service.