BRUNSWICK, Maine — Firefighters rescued two swimmers from the Androscoggin River Friday afternoon after they swam out too far in the strong current.
Just after 5 p.m., paramedic Luke Vachon reached out of the Brunswick Fire Department boat piloted by firefighter Joel Bruce near the Androscoggin River Swinging Bridge and pulled an unidentified young woman to safety.
Seconds earlier, her companion, an unidentified man, had yelled to her as her head went underwater, “Look at me. Look at me. They’re here.”
Shortly after pulling the woman into the boat, the man yelled, “You got the girl, now save me.”
Bruce steered the boat around, Vachon threw the man a line and soon he was safe inside the boat as well.
Brunswick Fire Capt. Matt Barnes praised the collaboration between his crew and the Topsham Fire Department, which also launched a boat from the Mill Street canoe portage.
Firefighters were called to the river just at 4:48 p.m., and sent the boats to the portage while a firefighter relayed updates from atop the bridge that connects Brunswick and Topsham over the Androscoggin River.
“Dispatch said the female on the rock was saying she couldn’t hold on much longer,” Barnes said. “We got the female patient in the boat, but [the male patient] was trying to fight the current and had a lot of back pain” so he was pulled into the Brunswick boat as well.
Both were evaluated by emergency medical personnel back at the portage and declined transport to the hospital, Barnes said.
“We swam out too far,” the woman said as the two walked out to Mill Street from the portage.