Boat owner issued summons after Androscoggin River rescue

River rescue
Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Paul Duclos of Lewiston talks with Auburn firefighters on the shore of the Androscoggin River just above the railroad trestle over the Great Falls on Thursday night. The motor on his boat died and the boat drifted downriver before getting hung up on the grates of the dam. His wife, Arlene, holds their dog, Reese, as they await rescue.

AUBURN — The Maine Warden Service has summoned to court the owner of a boat that was pulled from the edge of an Androscoggin River dam Thursday night.

Paul Duclos' boat, a Bayrunner, had four passengers aboard, including his wife, Arlene, who cannot swim. Yet, the boat had no life preservers and its registration had expired, Androscoggin County Sheriff's Capt. Raymond Lafrance said Friday.

By law, the operator of a boat must carry a life jacket for each person on board, and boats must be registered with the state.

At about 8 p.m. Thursday, the boat's engine stalled in the area above the Great Falls between Lewiston and Auburn. It drifted downstream until it came to rest on the dam's edge near the train trestle.

It teetered there for about an hour while Lewiston and Auburn fire departments, LifeFlight helicopter and the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Department worked to get the people and their dogs to safety.

Auburn firefighters managed to throw the boaters a line and slide preservers to them. Later, an Auburn rescue boat towed them to shore while a county rescue boat guarded the rescuers from the river's fast current.

"It was a precarious situation," Lafrance said. "That boat was in real distress. The people in it were in real distress."

Despite all the help in taking the people to safety, they likely will not be charged for the rescuers' costs.

"The city of Auburn won't engage in that practice," fire Chief Frank Roma said Friday. "While this was a very dangerous situation, this was what we train for."

It's unlikely that the county will seek payment, either, Lafrance said.

"We haven't looked at that," he said. "I can't remember us charging anyone for a rescue."

Lafrance, a veteran boater, said he hoped the incident would serve as a warning to people

You've got to make sure you have all of your emergency equipment," Lafrance said. "You have to make sure you have life jackets and a rope and an anchor, so if something does happen, you can throw your anchor in and you can secure it before you do get in a dangerous situation."

Arlene Duclos said Thursday they had not used the boat in more than a decade. The Ducloses and the couple riding with them are from Lewiston.

Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Arlene Duclos, foreground, and her friend, Lorraine Locke, hold their dogs tight as police and fire personnel talk with their husbands at the Auburn boat launch Thursday night after they were rescued from the brink of going over the Great Falls.

Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Paul Duclos of Lewiston, right, talks with a rescuer after coming ashore at the Auburn boat launch off North River Road on Thursday night after being pulled from the brink of going over the Great Falls.

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Catherine Pressey's picture

Wait one min.

Didn't they say he was former Coast Guard. They should make him pay for all the cost. He had training if so. And should pay the total cost. for all.

Thomas Hamilton's picture


So what will be the result of the summons? A small fine ... or the cost of saving these folks from their foolishness?
Maybe the Darwin principle was thwarted here.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

No awards for this one,

No awards for this one, although the performance of the players was certainly meritorious of the accolades.

River rescue

Mr Duclos should absolutely be charged for the cost of his stupidity!

Wrong headline...

or else the headline writer misspelled "moron"

FRANK EARLEY's picture

That was a little stupid...........

Taking a boat trip at dusk, in a river, up stream from a waterfall, in a boat that hasn't been used in a decade. That is an accident waiting to happen. Doing all this with at least one non swimmer in the boat, and no life jackets is mind boggling. Not having alternative propulsion or even paddles, and being on a river with no anchor is very dangerous. Doing all this in a city were excellent, well trained water rescue is available is probably the only correct thing this guy did..................

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Frank, that behavior is

Frank, that behavior is called natural selection, pruning the herd, Darwinism.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

I'll go along.....

I'll go along with you on this one Mark, definite "Darwin Award" candidate if I ever saw one............

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Maybe not...maybe it was a foiled attempt

It was a failed suicide pact, that is why they had nothing for safety or precautions and wanted to go over, that close to dusk....look how angry he was on the boat and off?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The only problem I have with

The only problem I have with your theory is that they brought the dogs with them. Definitely a blatant display of vacuous cerebral engagement.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Shame on them

Republicans for endangering the poor dogs lives....Paul Duclos, told the SJ, I didn't need no stinkin' registration or life preservers, that is strictly for dems to pay those types of charges.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Leave it to a lib to bring

Leave it to a lib to bring politics into the conversation.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Leave it to morons to not recognize sarcasm....

That it was a ruse to pull strings and push some buttons....Kudos for me...none for them and you....

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Hahaha...Well, at least your

Hahaha...Well, at least your high opinion of your opinions is intact.
A bit of work on your routine might bring about a more favorable result.

 's picture

If you don't have something nice to say...

Didn't your parents teach you, if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all?
Obviously not.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Way out of your league and over your head...

You and the other six, are so touchy that it was sarcasm that went way over your heads....but it really must of hit you to the bone-head--You are proof that God has a sense of humor.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

If that was your attempt at

If that was your attempt at "Comedy Central" you should not give up your daytime enterprises.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture


You are just one thinned skinned tbagger.....

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You should leave your gay

You should leave your gay friends out of this, schoolyard bully. I've shed more hide than you'll ever grow.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

You animal, your hide is pig skin....

You do realize makeup isn't going to fix your stupidity?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture should know; should know; you re-define the term on a daily basis.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

What's on your right shoulder?

Is that a parrot? Nope it looks more like a tbagger on your right shoulder with a big pecker bill ....

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Sure, you do.

Sure, you do.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Angry old man.

Angry old man.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Well, you've got two thirds

Well, you've got two thirds of it right.

 's picture

Better a tbagger than a

Better a tbagger than a libtard,
and seeing as my comment irked you enough to respond.
I say it's you that has the thin skin

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture


Since you were busting another person for no response....

Your birth certificate must be an apology letter from the condom factory.

I don't wear a tbagger patriot tag on my sleeve like you baggers are so terrified and a coward you have to display your bb gun rifle tag...

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Name calling and threatening

Name calling and threatening words; the last resorts of the vapid minded liberal.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Is that you Rush?

100,000 sperm, you were the fastest?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Amazing...I thought of

Amazing...I thought of throwing that line at you, but figured, nahh, that's a little low for a place like this. But, then, along comes Jerry, the king of low and he has no boundaries as to how LOW he will go. What do you do? Jump up to dig deeper? Bottom feeder.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Mortal Combat

You act like your arrogance is a virtue.

 's picture

Would you like some cheese

Would you like some cheese with your whine?

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

So, a thought crossed your

So, a thought crossed your mind? Must have been a long and lonely journey.

GARY SAVARD's picture

What a totally irrelevant

What a totally irrelevant boatload of BS, Jerry.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture


Boatload of Repubs, you win a cupie doll...

ERNEST LABBE's picture


And you know their party affilation how?

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Back at ya

How do you know they aren't?

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Have fun...

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

If that means you're leaving,

If that means you're leaving, we probably will.


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