BROWNVILLE, Maine — A 52-year-old Brownville man scrambled out of the Pleasant River before hypothermia could set in after his canoe tipped over as he paddled toward a deer hunting site on Friday, police said.
Brownville Police Department Cpl. Chad Perkins met Paul Bucci on Interconnected Trail System 110 near Front Street and took him home after Bucci’s wife reported the incident about 2:45 p.m., Perkins said.
“It turned out to be a pretty quick call for us,” Perkins said Friday. “I was on my way out there to get him when I found him on the trail.”
“He got soaked but he wasn’t in the water for that long,” Perkins added. “He was cold but he wasn’t that cold.”
The approximately 6-foot-tall Bucci told Perkins that he was about halfway across the river when his canoe tipped over and he fell into the chest-deep water. Bucci’s cellphone got doused but he managed to call his wife before it died, Perkins said.
Bucci was coherent, his skin color was good and he displayed no other signs of hypothermia once he got into Perkins’ police cruiser. Water temperatures have dropped recently but the river shows no signs of icing, Perkins said.
Perkins found Bucci about 3:15 p.m. Perkins called off game wardens and firefighters before they arrived.
Bucci had a life preserver with him but wasn’t wearing it.
“I think it was the kind that you sit on,” Perkins said.
Bucci could not immediately recover his canoe or anything else he might have lost in the river, Perkins said.
It was the second canoe accident in the state in recent days. A couple tipped their canoe in Millinocket Stream on Nov. 20. They were uninjured.