A Pennsylvania man drowned Wednesday evening in Sheepscot Pond in Palermo after taking a kayak out to retrieve a paddleboard that had drifted from shore because of the high winds, according to the Maine Warden Service.
Divers recovered the body of Akshay Mamidela, 25, of Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania, Friday morning, according to Mark Latti, the communications director for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
There were no witnesses, Latti said, but it appeared that Mamidela’s kayak capsized due to the extremely rough conditions on Wednesday evening. He was not wearing a life jacket.
When Mamidela’s friend returned to camp late that evening, he noticed that both Mamidela and one of the camp’s kayaks were missing. He called 911 at approximately 1 a.m. on Thursday, Latti said.
Deputies from the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office responded, and then got in touch with the Maine Warden Service once they determined that Mamidela had been out on the lake. That night, wardens and deputies searched the shoreline and the surrounding area, but could not find Mamidela.
Thursday morning, game wardens found both the capsized kayak and the paddleboard on shore about a quarter mile down the lake from the camp where Mamidela was staying.
The Maine Warden Service dive team used a boat equipped with side scan sonar to search the lake between the camp and where the kayak and paddleboard were found. At 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, wardens found an area where they believed Mamidela was, but it was too dark to dive, Latti said.
They resumed diving Friday morning and found Mamidela’s body there.