Dennis Hamel was last seen Thursday.

KITTERY (AP) – A friend who never gave up a search that was officially called off days earlier found the body of a boater whose skiff sank Thursday evening off Gerrish Island.

The body of Dennis Hamel, 41, of Kittery, was found Sunday near the area where the skiff sank off Gerrish Island, according to the Coast Guard.

Michael Waldron, Hamel’s friend, consulted a psychic before motoring to the spot where he found the body, WMUR-TV reported. “I really didn’t want it to be me. (But) I wanted him to be found,” Waldron said.

Hamel and another man were pulling lobster traps in the small boat when it was swamped by waves Thursday evening.

James Baxter managed to put on a lifejacket and swim to shore, where he was found clinging to rocks. A dog that was in the boat also made it to shore and barked until help arrived.

An airplane, helicopter, patrol boats and fishing boats joined in the search over the next 24 hours.

After searching more than 400 square miles, Coast Guard officials suspended the search on Friday. The water was 49 degrees. Normal survival time in the water is six to seven hours.

The accident was blamed on a couple of rogue waves during choppy and windy conditions at 6:45 p.m. Thursday.

Baxter thought Hamel was swimming behind him toward shore but he could not see his fishing partner. The two men had a license to pull up to five lobster traps, and were fishing when the episode unfolded.

AP-ES-05-03-04 0659EDT



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