April 04, 2020
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Search continues for missing canoeist as injured officers remain at hospital

SACO, Maine — The search resumed Monday for a woman who went missing after her canoe flipped on the Saco River on Saturday afternoon, and one of two police officers who were injured while searching for her remained hospitalized.

Jennifer Bousquet, 38, of South Berwick went missing Saturday after the canoe she was traveling in with Wayne Demers, 62, of Somersworth, New Hampshire, and Brian Day, 54, of South Berwick flipped in the Saco River. The men made it to shore safely.

“Resuming dive operations this morning,” Warden Chris Cloutier said Monday morning of the recovery effort. “The high and swift river condition, combined with a significant amount of underwater debris caused by the spring run off, makes diving extremely treacherous. It is a slow process, diver safety is paramount.”

It is likely that the woman’s body is caught in an obstruction under the water, Cloutier said Sunday. Alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor, he said.

Maine game wardens have searched the river, using dive and K-9 teams along with its aviation division, and other agencies have assisted.

Officers Dale Stout, 51, and Nathan Desjardins, 20, of the Fryeburg Police Department were dispatched to the scene around 4 p.m. Saturday, and their boat crashed about a mile from where the canoe flipped, ejecting both officers.

Strout sustained serious injuries while Desjardin sustained potentially life-threatening injuries. Both were flown by LifeFlight to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

“Stout has been released from the hospital and Desjardins is in critical condition,” Fryeburg Police Chief Joshua Potvin said Monday afternoon.

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