Police say drowning in Rumford pool was an accident

Posted June 29, 2011, at 3:09 p.m.

RUMFORD, Maine — An elderly local man who was trying to remove the cover on his in-ground swimming pool in the backyard apparently fell in and drowned, officials said on Wednesday morning.

Raymond Berryment, 78, was found dead in the deep end of the pool, Capt. Daniel Garbarini said.

On Wednesday, the medical examiner’s office listed the cause of death as accidental drowning.

The investigation is continuing pending the results of a routine toxicology test, which takes six to eight weeks, Garbarini said.

“What we’ve learned through our investigation was that he was attempting to remove the pool cover, but it isn’t entirely clear how he went into the pool,” he said.

“There was an appointment with a pool company and he was supposed to have the cover off.”

Garbarini said a friend of Berryment’s discovered his body in the pool and called 911 on Tuesday morning.

When police got to the scene at 9:11 a.m., they discovered that Berryment had managed to partially remove the cover, Garbarini said. He was alone when the accident happened.

Police said the pool, which had a shallow end and a deeper end at 8 or 10 feet, was surrounded by a fence.

Berryment lived in a white house on a short lane beside a cul-de-sac off Royal Avenue, which is off Route 2 just west of McDonald’s.

According to Rumford’s 2011 real estate tax records, Berryment was a World War II veteran.

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