April 19, 2019

Four Penobscot River kayakers found safe after call for search

ORONO – A report late Sunday afternoon of kayaks overturned in the Penobscot River prompted a search that involved emergency responders from two towns and a city, as well as personnel from the state’s warden and forestry services.

Although Orono and Old Town mobilized their rescue boats and the state dispatched a game warden and was scrambling to get a forest service airplane into the air over the Penobscot, the four boaters involved were found safe, but thoroughly soaked, Lt. Rob St. Louis said Sunday evening.

The kayakers’ names were not immediately available Sunday. St. Louis, however, said the group comprised two adults and two children from the Bradley area.

The four had been kayaking together Sunday when a large wave struck, causing the kayaks to flip over and their occupants to be separated, St. Louis said.

Shortly after that, Orono’s fire and rescue personnel received a report that several kayaks were in the river and only one person could be seen.

In addition, Orono police reported that hollering had been heard upstream, but they couldn’t make out what was being said.

Upon their arrival, Orono rescuers found one of the boaters on the Bradley side of the river. Two more were found walking along Route 178. Another caught a ride to the public boat launch in Eddington and was found there.

The four were reunited after they were rounded up, St. Louis said, noting that the quick response and life jackets prevented what could have been a tragic outcome.

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