Canadian man drowns near Vanceboro

Posted July 02, 2014, at 3:07 p.m.
Last modified July 02, 2014, at 7:27 p.m.

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ST. CROIX, New Brunswick — A Canadian man drowned in Spednic Lake after falling out of a small rubber raft, officials reported Wednesday. The lake is located on the border between northern Maine and New Brunswick.

The victim was identified as Jason Townes, 37, of McAdam, reported Sgt. David Craven of the Maine Warden Service. His body was recovered Wednesday morning.

Townes and another McAdam man, who was not identified, left the Canadian side of the lake Tuesday evening in a small rubber raft and began paddling to a camp on an island where they planned to spend the night, according to Craven. He described the raft as “very small … like a children’s toy.”

“It was very, very tiny,” added Craven.

Townes fell overboard, and his companion did not see him again and went to summon help, said Craven. The incident occurred about 8:30 p.m., according to authorities.

Alcohol may have been a factor in the incident, said Craven. “We can’t say for sure.”

The body of Townes was found with the aid of an underwater camera, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police divers recovered it about 10:30 a.m. The body was retrieved from about 17 feet of water some 150 yards from the shore, said Craven. The area was in the lower corner of the lake near the dam, just north of Vanceboro, Maine.

At about the time the body was located, wardens converged on the site in a boat as well as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter, said Craven.

The incident occurred in Canadian waters, and the body was recovered in Canadian waters, said Craven, who was assisted at the scene by two other Maine wardens, Brad Richard and Paul Farrington.

When emergency responders determined the man went missing in Canadian waters, wardens provided assistance with a boat and helped Canadian officials until about 1 a.m. Search efforts began about 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Rescue and firefighter personnel from McAdam and Harvey responded along with others from Vanceboro, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and others from the Canadian Department of Natural Resources and the St. Croix International Waterway Commission.

 

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