June 20, 2018
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Second body found in Piscataquis County drowning

By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

BOWERBANK — Game wardens have found the body of a second man who drowned this past weekend in a local pond after the boat he and three friends were traveling in flipped, throwing all four into the chilly water.

The body of Robert Pomeroy, owner of Rowell’s Garage, was recovered from First Buttermilk Pond Monday morning, Lt. Pat Dorian of the Maine Warden Service, said by phone.

“We found the second victim at 10 minutes to 11 [a.m.],” he said. “He was actually found relatively close to shore, about 50 feet, in six feet of water.”

The body of 34-year veteran Foxcroft Academy English teacher James “Jim” Brown was recovered from the pond Sunday afternoon.

Two other men in the 12-foot boat, Kevin Stitham, 56, a 13th District Court judge, and David Perkins, 50, a local businessman, were able to make it to the banks of the pond after the boat sank at around 4:15 p.m. on Saturday. Brown, 57, and Pomeroy, 56, never made it to shore.

“They’ve all been friends from when they were kids,” Dorian said. “It’s a real tragedy.”

The four were staying at the Stitham family hunting camp, located on the northern side of the pond, and decided to visit friends on the other side of the lake, Dorian said.

Soon after leaving shore, the vessel began taking on water. Stitham noticed the water and told Pomeroy, who was steering the boat, to head to shore, but “within a matter of seconds, the boat capsized,” Dorian said.

The four friends were thrown into the water, which had a temperature in the low 50s.

Perkins stayed with the overturned boat and the others took life jackets and attempted to swim to shore. Only Stitham made it.

Once on shore, Stitham retrieved a nearby camp’s rowboat and returned to the scene and rescued Perkins. There was no sign of their other two friends. After searching the area, the two survivors, eventually made their way to a vehicle and drove out of the remote area to where they could use a cell phone to call for help.

Brown was a husband, father of two and a grandfather. He also was head of the English Department at Foxcroft Academy and he was involved with the Thompson Free Library and the town’s historic society. Pomeroy took over ownership of the garage from his father-in-law.

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