Searchers recover body of man reportedly swept over Saccarappa Falls in Presumpscot River

Posted Aug. 21, 2014, at 10:50 a.m.
Last modified Aug. 21, 2014, at 5:13 p.m.

WESTBROOK, Maine — Shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday, searchers found the body of a 35-year-old Westbrook man who reportedly had fallen into the Presumpscot River and been swept over the Saccarappa Falls about four hours earlier.

The body was discovered a short distance downstream from the falls, according to a release from Westbrook police Capt. Michael F. Nugent.

Dive teams, local firefighters and a plane from the Maine Warden Service participated in the search, which Deputy Chief Andrew Turcotte of the Westbrook Fire Department at about 11 a.m. said had switched from a rescue to a “recovery operation,” meaning that searchers did not expect to find the man alive.

Westbrook firefighters received a report shortly after 9 a.m. Thursday that a man had gone into the river near Mill Lane, and then was seen going over the falls before disappearing from sight, Nugent said.

Rescue boats from the Westbrook, Gorham, Scarborough and Standish fire departments put in at Riverbank Park, and the Maine Warden Service and Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office are assisting with the search.

Jim Peterson of Portland was at sitting at the edge of the Presumpscot drinking coffee Thursday morning before work when he saw emergency vehicles head up the street.

“Next thing I know, there he was. He floated right by me, man,” Peterson said. “It was sad. Face up, underwater, shirt wide open. I can’t swim. … I’d [have] jumped in. He was obviously dead.”

The victim’s identity was not immediately available.