FRYEBURG — About 15 canoeists stranded on the banks of the Saco River on Monday night were safely rescued early Tuesday morning.

According to a statement from Fryeburg police acting Chief Joshua Potvin, the rescue took four hours and a two-mile hike into the woods. The group, including a 12-year-old, were provided warm blankets and water, but no one required transport to a hospital.

Potvin said the group rented canoes from Saco River Canoe and Kayak in Fryeburg and started their trip on the river at approximately 10 a.m. Monday. Around 10 p.m., the group described the river as having risen 2 feet in 10 minutes and they attempted to abort their trip and return to a landing.

“The high and fast-moving river coupled with the early-morning fog made for extremely unsafe conditions for rescuers,” Potvin said in the statement.

One of the canoes capsized between Indian Acres Campground and Canal Bridge Campground, leaving the entire group stranded on the riverbank. This stretch of river is only easily accessible by water, Potvin said.

“We decided to access the group by land instead of by boat due to the risks involved with nighttime river operations. Although it took us longer by land, we maintained cellphone contact with the group and knew there were no imminent medical issues,” he said.

Potvin said the group lost some gear but appeared to be in good shape despite the ordeal.

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: