New Hampshire Man Drowns While Kayaking

LAMOINE — A New Hampshire man drowned while kayaking from Hadley Point to the Lamoine State Park Sunday afternoon, according to the Maine Marine Patrol.

Officer Colin MacDonald said a party of four had gone from the state park to Hadley Point for lunch. They were returning about 3 p.m. and split up.

“Two of the paddlers went more of a northerly direction to go along the Lamoine shore and the other two decided to take a direct route across the bay,” MacDonald said. “The ones who took the direct route were very inexperienced.”

The paddlers weren’t wearing lifejackets but did have them on board. The conditions included wave height of 2 to 3 feet.

The kayakers made it halfway between Hadley Point and the state park when the man who drowned began to have trouble.

“He was getting very nervous,” MacDonald said.

MacDonald said the other person who was with him took two to three paddle strokes and was coaching him along.

“She then looked back and he had flipped over,” MacDonald said. He was holding onto his paddle and eyeglasses with left hand and his kayak with his right hand.

“She could see that he was breathing heavily and that he was kind of struggling,” MacDonald said. “She yelled to him to drop the paddle and glasses and hold onto the kayak.” She could tell that he was still struggling, so she got out of her kayak and swam over to him.

“He was still conscious,” the officer said. The woman was still trying to coach him through.

He then lost his grip on the kayak and started to go under, MacDonald said. The woman pulled him back up. He went under again and the woman began screaming and pulled him back up again, the officer said.

Three people on a small sailboat heard the woman’s screams and sailed over to help.

The sailing party, which included a nurse, got the two kayakers on board and began performing CPR on the man but were unable to revive him.

MacDonald said the man was pronounced dead by paramedics at the Lamoine State Park.

The Marine Patrol is not yet releasing the deceased man’s name or of the other kayakers until his family has been notified.

This is the second drowning here in less than a month.

A Massachusetts man drowned June 19 after setting out by himself in a kayak off Hancock Point.

MacDonald said that kayakers need to take precautions.

“We’re not dealing with lakes and ponds,” MacDonald said. “It’s a very dynamic and changing environment in the ocean. People just don’t really understand what they’re getting into.”

The New Hampshire man had a lifejacket with him but was not wearing it, the officer said.

Kayakers should travel in a group and going with a guide is best, he said. Traveling with a support boat is also a good idea.

They need to have the right equipment to be on the ocean, the officer said.

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Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.
Jennifer Osborn

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