The body of a Rockport man was recovered from 112 feet of water in a local quarry on Tuesday night after what police described as an apparent “tragic accident.”
A search had been underway in the quarry for 38-year-old Joshua D. Clapp since Tuesday morning after a bicycle was found next to a gate along with a backpack and other personal items located along the water’s edge, Camden-Rockport Police Chief Randy Gagne said.
Based on the clothes and other personal items found along the edge of the quarry, Gagne said it appeared that someone had gone swimming. Since Clapp was alone at the time of his death, Gagne said it’s hard to know exactly how Clapp ended up in the water.
“It appears it’s most likely an accidental drowning,” Gagne said. “It could be a number of scenarios, but there is nothing that indicates it’s anything other than a tragic accident.”
The body was recovered around 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, Gagne said.
The Maine Warden Service was called in to help with the search. After divers were unable to locate the body in the freshwater-filled quarry, wardens deployed a remote-controlled device equipped with a camera to search deeper waters that reach 140 feet in some places.
Gagne said the body has been taken to the medical examiner’s office, where an official cause of death will be determined.
The quarry and surrounding property is part of the Coastal Mountains Land Trust’s Simonton Quarry Preserve. Several quarries make up the 26-acre preserve, with the quarries boasting jagged and steep rocky perimeters and dark water. A sign at the entrance of the preserve says no swimming is allowed in the quarries.
“Coastal Mountains Land Trust is saddened by the recent death at our Simonton Quarry Preserve in Rockport. Our organization has been in communication with the Rockport police as this situation has unfolded and wishes to express our sincerest condolences to friends and family affected by this tragedy,” the land trust said in a Wednesday statement.