CARIBOU, Maine — Maine Wardens recovered the body of 18-year-old Wayne Estabrook early Monday morning in the Aroostook River, according to Sgt. Daniel Menard of the Maine Warden Service.
Estabrook had last been seen around 6 p.m. Sunday, collecting fiddleheads with three other people along the river’s banks near the Caribou boat landing.
The group decided to cross the river, Menard said, and three of them used a nearby bridge but Estabrook opted to attempt to swim across the river and was swept downstream by the current.
Wardens, joined by members of Caribou fire and ambulance departments and agents with US Customs and Border Protection, searched for Estabrook until 8:30 p.m. Sunday four miles down the river on foot, using boats and the warden plane.
Divers had been called in when the search resumed Monday morning, Menard said, but before they were deployed a worker at the Caribou sewage treatment plant spotted Estabrook’s body just before 8:30 a.m.on a sandbar in the river, roughly two miles downstream from where he was last seen.
The incident remains under investigation, but is being treated as a drowning resulting from a swimming accident, Menard said.
This is the second water-related death in Aroostook County in as many weeks.
On May 11 the body of Jacob Caldwell, 19, of Presque Isle was recovered from Echo Lake after the canoe he was in with two other men capsized earlier that day.
The two other men in the canoe were able to swim to shore.
Menard said temperatures are still cold in Maine’s rivers and lakes and people need to be cautious when working or playing on or near the water.
“That water is colder than people think,” Menard said. “Whenever you are in flowing water you must think about that [and] that a simple thing like a life jacket can save your life.”