BOWTOWN TOWNSHIP – A 20-year-old man through-hiking the Appalachian Trail drowned while swimming in Pierce Pond Friday evening, Maine Warden Service Cpl. John MacDonald stated early Saturday afternoon in a news report.
The man's identity is being withheld until family can be notified, he said.
Pierce Pond is about four miles west of Caratunk on the Appalachian Trail in Somerset County.
According to witnesses, MacDonald said the man had hiked nearly 20 miles on the Appalachian Trail earlier in the day, and then attempted to swim across a small cove near the outlet of Pierce Pond.
"The man went under about 35 yards from shore," he said.
"Rescue personnel eventually located the deceased in nearly 15 feet of water, but could not retrieve him."
At 11:30 p.m., Warden Sgt. Glenn Annis, Wardens Josh Bubier, Dan Carroll, Kris MacCabe and volunteers retrieved the victim, MacDonald said.
Pleasant Ridge firefighters and Upper Kennebec Valley Ambulance personnel assisted at the scene.
An Appalachian Trail through-hiker is a hiker or backpacker who is trying to walk the entire 2,180-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, or Maine to Georgia, in one uninterrupted trip.