Massachusetts kayaker who drowned was honeymooning at Hancock Point

Posted June 20, 2011, at 2:29 p.m.

HANCOCK, Maine — A Massachusetts man who died Sunday after kayaking in Frenchman Bay died from accidental drowning, according to the state medical examiner’s office.

On Monday, having informed his relatives of his death, police identified the man as Eric Hogan, 28, of Webster, Mass. Police had withheld his name on Sunday pending notification of his family.

Police blamed high winds on Sunday for blowing Hogan out into the bay and leading to his eventual death.

Hogan had gone out for a paddle around 7 a.m. from a home he and his wife had rented for a vacation at Hancock Point, Sgt. Jay Carroll of Maine Marine Patrol said Monday. Carroll said the type of kayak Hogan was using was a sit-on-top model which offers no protection from the elements. Hogan was not physically strapped into the kayak or secured to it in any other way, he said.

Hogan was wearing a life preserver, Carroll said, but otherwise was not dressed for the weather conditions, which included wind gusts of more than 30 mph and water temperatures between 55 and 60 degrees. Aside from the life preserver, Hogan was wearing shorts but no shirt, Carroll said.

Police and emergency response personnel from Hancock and neighboring towns started searching for Hogan around 11 a.m., after his wife reported him overdue in returning from his outing, Carroll said Monday. Hogan was unresponsive when the Coast Guard found him floating off Hulls Cove around 1:30 p.m., he said.

According to several scientific and water safety websites, people in water less than 60 degrees often become exhausted or unconscious from hypothermia after roughly an hour.

Carroll said he did not know if Hogan owned the kayak he was using or how big it is. The kayak has been located on the shore of one of the Porcupine Islands, he said, but has not been recovered.

Carroll said Hogan had recently gotten married and was honeymooning with his wife at Hancock Point when the incident occurred.

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