Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce had to be transported to Maine Medical Center after he capsized his kayak on Sebago Lake Wednesday afternoon.

Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce

Joyce was transported by ambulance to the Portland hospital as a precautionary measure to be treated for hypothermia-related symptoms, Chief Deputy Naldo Gagnon said in a statement.

A spokesman for the hospital said that Joyce was treated and released.

Joyce did not respond to a voicemail Wednesday night. It was not clear what he was doing on the lake. WGME-TV quoted a bystander as saying that Joyce was setting moorings when his kayak tipped over.

Members of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, the Standish Fire and Rescue Department, and the Maine Warden Service responded to the report of a boating accident off Hearthside Road in Standish around 2:30 p.m.

A contractor who was working in the area witnessed the accident and used a canoe to paddle out to Joyce and pull him to shore. The man told WGME-TV that he asked Joyce to let go of the kayak and to hang onto the canoe while he paddled back to shore.


Once on shore, emergency responders identified him as being the sheriff before transporting Joyce to the hospital.

Water temperatures in Sebago Lake are about 48 degrees, Gagnon said.

As is the case with all boating accidents involving possible injuries, the Maine Warden Service will investigate.

Mark Latti, spokesman for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, advises boaters to wear a life jacket when heading out on a lake or river because water temperatures at this time of year remain extremely cold, sapping energy and making it difficult to swim. It was not clear if Joyce was wearing a life jacket.

A 75-year-old Perry man drowned last week when the 12-foot aluminum boat he was using to check baitfish traps overturned on East Pike Brook Pond in Downeast Maine. Lindon Rockwell was thrown into the water without a life jacket.

Rockwell’s friends on shore encouraged him to swim to shore, but he was 350 feet away. He was unable to cover that distance and drowned.

Game wardens found a life jacket floating in the water near the boat and another life jacket stuffed under the bow of the overturned boat.

“Inland waters are still extremely cold this time of year, and hypothermia can set in quickly,” Game Warden Joe McBrine said of the incident involving Rockwell. “Wearing a life jacket can save your life if you find yourself in the water unexpectedly.”

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