Officials say a man's personal floatation device and his cellphone likely saved his life, after his boat capsized.
This scary incident Tuesday evening in the town of Lisbon serves as a reminder of the importance of wearing life jackets, rather than just having them available in the boat. According to a post on the Lisbon Fire Department's Facebook page, crews were called to the Androscoggin River just before 6:00 to a report of a person in the water. Officials say the 21-year-old's 16' center console boat had started taking on water, just after he set his anchor. The man ended up the water, but his life jacket kept him afloat.
While he got his cellphone out of his pocket, the strong current swept him downstream. He called 911 and was able to give the dispatcher enough information to make locating him much easier. Crews responded and launched a rescue boat from the Frost Hill Avenue boat launch. They found the man, pulled him from the water, and brought him back to the boat launch, where he was assessed by EMS and released. The boat remains in the river, until it can be recovered.
Maine Marine Patrol officials are always reminding boaters that incidents like this can happen in a split second, usually with no time to grab a life jacket. The only way the personal floatation devices are effective is if they're being worn when the person goes into the water. There are a variety of PFD's available, these days, including inflatable vests that are unobtrusive when out of the water, but will inflate when submerged.
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