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Presque Isle Teen Dies After Canoe Capsizes on Echo Lake

| May 12, 2014

EchoIncident from WAGM-TV on Vimeo.

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Tragedy over the weekend on Echo Lake. Game wardens recovered the body of a 19 year old Presque Isle man who died early Sunday morning after the canoe he was in capsized.”

“It’s unfortunate, it’s tragic..that’s all I can say,” said lieutenant Thomas Ward of the Maine Warden Service.

The call came in around two-thirty in the morning that a canoe with three people in it had overturned on the lake. The Presque Isle Police Department and Maine Warden Service responded.

“This incident happened on the north shore..of Echo Lake..40-50 yards from shore.”

Lieutenant Thomas Ward says the warden service brought in an airplane to help with the search but the wind made things difficult. A diver recovered the body of 19-year-old Jacob Caldwell just after 11am about a half mile from the canoe, which had drifted east. Two 25-year-old men who haven’t been named were also in the boat, and they were able to swim to shore.

“Right now the water is cold, deceptively cold, even though the air temperature might be 60-70 right now most places the water temperature is mid 40s to low 50s,” said Ward.

Ward says in those conditions it can take about 5 minutes for your body to go into a hypothermic state. He says this is the first incident of this kind in our area this year, and he wants it to be the last.

“We’re urging anyone who is out in a boat, canoe, to wear their life jackets, have the proper safety gear, and just use a lot of caution,” said Ward.

Though the incident happened near Aroostook State Park, the canoe the three were in did not belong to the park. Caldwell graduated from Presque Isle High School last year and went to Limestone Community School before that. His death is still being investigated, and Ward says we could know more information in a few weeks. Ward says the other two men didn’t have any injuries.

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