EMBDEN — A New Hampshire man died after slipping and falling in the water while fly fishing in the Kennebec River with his son on Father’s Day, officials confirmed Monday.

According to a news release issued Monday by the the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, James Wescott, 56, of Fremont, New Hampshire, was fishing with his son Jarod Wescott, 34, of Norridgewock, around 8 a.m. Sunday.

James Wescott was trying to walk out to a gravel bar on the river when he lost his footing and fell into the river. His waders filled with water as he was not wearing a wading belt, and the rushing water washed him downstream.

Jarod Wescott removed his waders and jumped into the river to save the elder Wescott. While he was able to reach his father, a combination of the water-filled waders and the speed of the current made it impossible to get  James Wescott back to shore. Jarod Wescott was able to swim back to shore and flagged down help on a nearby ATV trail from a passerby, who called 911.

Anson Fire Chief Stacy Beane identified the location of the accident as just below the Solon Dam.

“He slipped and fell while he was fishing with his son, he got back up, went to go step out into the rapids a bit more, went and fell again,” Beane said. “I’m pretty sure his waders filled up with water. His son tried to get him out, but got exhausted and couldn’t.”


Anson, Madison, Solon and Skowhegan fire departments responded, Beane said.

According to the release, the fire departments located James Wescott, who was unresponsive.

“We knew after a little while that it was just going to be a body recovery,” she said, adding that the wader boots made the recovery difficult.

James Wescott was taken to Dan & Scott’s Cremation and Funeral Service in Skowhegan.

On Wednesday, Jarod Wescott posted a note on social media, requesting time and space on behalf of his family in the wake of his father’s death.

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