July 09, 2020

Body of missing boy found, friend sought

SOUTH THOMASTON — Searchers found the body of one teen-ager and continued to look for a second boy reported missing north of Spruce Head Island early Tuesday morning.

A spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard said it wasn’t immediately known whether the body found was that of Rory Waters, 14, or Philip Smith, 15, both of Waterman Beach. The two had been rowing in the area of Waterman Beach and Muscle Ridge Channel and reported missing shortly before 8 p.m. when they didn’t return home.

The body was found after 11 p.m. on Tommy Island, a small island located less than a mile offshore. Searchers found the body on the same side of the island as a black skiff that the two boys had been using to practice rowing, according to a Coast Guard official.

“We’re still searching,” said U.S. Coast Guard Ensign Matt Buckingham about efforts to locate the remaining boy.

Throughout the evening boats and a helicopter searched the waters north of Spruce Head Island Monday night as residents and police combed the shore and a small island after the two teen-agers were reported missing.

The two boys were rowing a 10-foot black skiff near Waterman Beach in Thomaston and failed to return home at the expected time of 5 p.m., two hours after they had left, the Coast Guard was told.

Searchers discovered an overturned black skiff on Tommy Island, but Buckingham couldn’t say whether the boat had been overturned intentionally or by accident. The skiff was found about 11 p.m. and officials found the body a short time later.

It wasn’t known if the teen-agers had life jackets with them, Buckingham reported.

Waters’ mother, Toni Waters, contacted the Coast Guard station at Rockland at 7:52 p.m., according to a prepared statement from the Coast Guard.

A helicopter with a high-intensity spotlight flew up from Cape Cod to join in the search, which included the Coast Guard vessel Tackle, a 65-foot cutter, and two smaller vessels.

In addition, the Maine Marine Patrol had three boats searching the area, along with private boats. The Coast Guard Auxiliary, local residents and the Knox County Sheriff’s Department were searching the shoreline for the two boys.

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