Officials identify Appalachian Trail through-hiker who drowned while swimming

Posted June 18, 2012, at 9:13 a.m.

BOWTOWN TWP, Maine — Officials on Monday identified the man who drowned over the weekend while through-hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Paul Anthony Bernhardt, 20, of Flushing, N.Y., had hiked nearly 20 miles on the trail Friday and was trying to swim across a small cove near the outlet of Pierce Pond in Bowtown Township when he went underwater about 35 yards from shore, according a news release.

Rescue personnel eventually found Bernhardt’s body in nearly 15 feet of water but couldn’t immediately retrieve it.

Game Warden Sergeant Glenn Annis and wardens Josh Bubier, Dan Carroll, Kris MacCabe and other volunteers were able to retrieve the victim at 11:30 p.m. Friday.

Pleasant Ridge Fire and Upper Kennebec Valley Ambulance personnel also were at the scene.

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