BUCKSPORT — A 5-year-old boy died after going into the Penobscot River while fishing Friday morning, and a Maine State Police diver has recovered what is believed to be the body of the man who jumped in to help the boy.

Sgt. Colin MacDonald of the Maine Marine Patrol said at a media briefing mid-afternoon that a family had been fishing off a floating dock, and the man went into the water to try and help a child from the group who went in at about 10:30 a.m.

The boy was pulled out of the water, but Peter Kirbach of the state medical examiner’s office said the boy was declared dead upon arrival at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.

Rescue personnel from various local and state agencies converged on the area near the Irving gas station at the intersection of Routes 1 and 15 to search the river for the man believed to be in his mid-50s.

The state police diver was in the water about 20 minutes before he surfaced with a body just before 2:30 p.m., and the rescuers lifted it onto a small dinghy. They headed to the Verona Island boat launch where an ambulance and police officers waited.

The body was located about 300 yards down river from the municipally owned floating dock where the family had been fishing and just beyond the Edward Thegan Bridge between Bucksport and Verona Island.

The victims were not identified.


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