Bath police investigating drowning in Kennebec River

Posted Oct. 06, 2011, at 10:44 a.m.
Last modified Oct. 06, 2011, at 11:46 a.m.

BATH, Maine — Police are investigating the circumstances of a drowning in the Kennebec River early Thursday morning.

Bath police Chief Michael Field said a 51-year-old Bath man was pronounced dead at Waterfront Park in downtown Bath after being pulled from the water by a Bath Iron Works security boat. Field declined to identify the man pending notification of his family.

A person who was walking a dog in South End Park, which is located just south of Bath Iron Works, called police at about 6:40 a.m. to report a man who appeared to be struggling to swim in the river. The person with the dog was able to attract the attention of a nearby BIW security boat, which patrols the river near the shipyard 24 hours a day. Security personnel on the boat attempted CPR on the victim, who was unconscious when he was pulled from the water, according to Field.

The security boat took the man to the city docks at Waterfront Park where rescue personnel from Bath Fire Department were waiting. They continued to try to revive the man but were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Field said Thursday morning that investigators were still trying to determine how the man ended up in the water. Because the tide was rising and the current in the river was coming in, Field said it was unlikely that the man, who was fully clothed, jumped from the nearby Sagadahoc Bridge where Route 1 crosses the river.

“We still have some investigating to do, but we believe he was attempting suicide,” said Field. “We’re still working on trying to find his family.”

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