Search for boater at Big Lake to resume today; boy rescued

Posted June 20, 2010, at 6:54 p.m.

TOWNSHIP 27, Maine — Thunderstorms Sunday afternoon forced rescuers to call off the search for a 40-year-old Princeton man who went into the water from a small boat on Big Lake in Washington County on Saturday afternoon.

According to the Maine Warden Service, Scott James and a juvenile had gone on a short boat ride Saturday from a camp on the lake. They were in a 16-foot open boat with a 25-horsepower motor when James went into the water, sometime before 5 p.m. Saturday. The boy threw a life jacket to James and went into the water in an attempt to help him, according to wardens.

The teenager was pulled from the water by two nearby campers who heard him calling for help.

High winds and waves were reported at the time, according to Lt. Tom Ward.

Fourteen game wardens, including divers and a pilot, conducted the search along with civilians. According to Deborah Turcotte, spokeswoman for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the search was being conducted in about 20 feet of water near Greenlaw Island near the western shore of the lake.

The search began Saturday night, was suspended overnight, and resumed Sunday morning. Heavy thunderstorms rolled into the area after 4 p.m. Sunday and forced the searchers to suspend their efforts, according to Turcotte. The search will resume this morning.

At this point, wardens have not determined what caused James to fall from the boat into the water, Turcotte said. The case remains under investigation.

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