Medical examiner: Perry man drowned while clamming

Posted Nov. 18, 2009, at 2:06 p.m.

PERRY, Maine — Arthur “Skip” Calder, 51, died of drowning, the Maine State Medical Examiner’s Office determined after an autopsy.

Calder drowned while harvesting clams on Tuesday, Nov. 10. His body was found Monday, Nov. 16.

There was a delay between when Calder died and when he was reported missing because Calder lived alone. Once it was discovered by family members that Calder had not been heard from in several days, his brother Howard Calder, also of Perry, went to Calder’s Cannon Hill Road home and discovered his brother’s clamming gear missing.

Howard Calder then took a trail frequently used by his brother behind his home to reach the shore of East Bay.

“I walked down the trail and saw his gear on the shore. His footprints were in the mud, but they just disappeared into the water,” Howard Calder said last Monday.

The Maine Department of Marine Resources was notified that Calder was missing about 4 p.m. Sunday, according to DMR Officer Jason Leavitt, but it was too dark to begin searching.

A search of the East Bay area was initiated at daybreak Nov. 16, and Calder’s body was found on the high tide line in a grassy area of Pattangal Cove. Leavitt said the body was found about 1.8 miles from where it is assumed he entered the water.

Calder is the seventh local fisherman to die in Cobscook Bay since last December. Three remain missing.

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