AUBURN — When Seth Goodwin and his co-workers at Goodscapes Lawn Care & Landscaping arrived at a customer’s home on Taylor Pond on Thursday morning, they could not believe the colorful scene greeting them on the pond’s glassy surface.

Forty-seven unmanned kayaks, canoes and boats were floating about on the water.

“It was like the balloon festival, with the colors reflecting in the water,” Goodwin said.

Little did they know their plans for raking and cutting would also include a morning filled with paddling and towing.

Vandals struck Taylor Pond Yacht Club during the night, according to authorities, breaking windows and doors of buildings, apparently setting off fire extinguishers inside the buildings and dragging out the majority of canoes, kayaks and boats from the storage racks and setting them adrift on the pond.

When Jaimie Choiniere arrived Thursday morning to inquire about joining the club, she met Taylor Pond Yacht Club Commodore Pat Garcia, who was talking to a police officer as boats were being towed toward the beach by helpers. As her son played in the sand, Choiniere pitched in to help drag the watercraft off the club’s small beach.  

After finishing their yardwork, Goodwin and some of his crew donned life jackets and jumped into four kayaks their client owned and paddled out to help round up the wayward vessels.

“The wind was starting to pick up and they were blowing all over the place,” Goodwin said as he helped drag another kayak up on shore. “It is only the second time in a kayak for me, so I am pretty wet now.”

His co-worker, Adam Kelsea, who has friends who live on the pond, sent out a message on social media asking if anybody had a motorboat to help.

He got nothing but tongue-in-cheek responses.

It is too early in the season and most boats are still in storage, according to Garcia.

“We did some calling to everyone we knew who had motor boats, but nobody has launched them yet,” she said. “Thank goodness we have such good neighbors and others who came to our rescue.”

By the end of the day, all 47 boats had been recovered.

“As far as I know, it’s all good now,” Garcia said.

The amount of damage was still being estimated as police continued to investigate. No arrests had been made by Thursday night.


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