FRYEBURG — Emergency personnel rescue canoeist from the frigid Saco River on Sunday afternoon.

A Fryeburg Police Department release said that a group of 13 males were traveling in canoes and consuming alcohol when they said they encountered a hail storm, causing the canoe of a 50-year-old Cape Neddick man to capsize.

Fryeburg police, fire and rescue personnel responded to the area of mile 15 in Fryeburg around 3:10 p.m. Fryeburg Rescue launched their boat from the Lovewell Pond landing.

The man was reported to have been treated for hypothermia at the landing and later released.

When asked what happened, the man told officers, “I almost drowned,” that he swallowed a lot of water and became extremely fatigued and cold while trying to fight the current.

Acting Chief of Police Josh Potvin said, “This is our first water rescue call of the season and this canoeist is extremely fortunate that he was not seriously injured.

“I am pleased with the collaborative effort between Fryeburg fire, rescue and police personnel which led to a successful rescue of a person in need,” he said.

“We are expecting a busy season on the Saco and we are reminding those enjoying the river that consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can make for extremely unsafe conditions and poor decision making,” Potvin said.

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