Local man drowns in Hanson Lake

12 years ago

Local man drowns in Hanson Lake

By Kathy McCarty

Staff Writer

    MAPLETON — A late-night outing with friends at Hanson Lake turned tragic when one man attempted to swim across the body of water but ran into trouble about midway in his effort.

Photo courtesy of MWS

    DIVERS prepared to enter Hanson Lake in Mapleton Saturday, in search of Randy Muir, 30, of Presque Isle. Pictured with the Maine Warden Service plane in the background are Warden Robert Johansen and Sgt. Scott Thrasher, MWS.  FS-MWS PIPDHansonLakeDrowning-cx2-sh-31

    The body of Randy Muir, 30, of Presque Isle, was recovered Saturday afternoon following an extensive search by members of the Maine Warden Service and Presque Isle Police Department.

    “At approximately 10:30 p.m. on Friday, July 27, a group of four friends were at Hanson Lake near the Northern Maine Regional Airport in Presque Isle. It appears that members of the party had been drinking and were swimming in the lake during the evening hours,” said Corporal John MacDonald, MWS.

    Information obtained by wardens indicates Muir attempted to swim across the lake by himself.

    “According to witnesses, he made it a considerable distance across the lake before the group on shore heard calls for help,” he said.

    MacDonald said the lake is approximately 250 yards wide at the incident location.

    “The subject was not seen going under due to darkness,” said MacDonald.

    A land search was conducted around the lake, with boats brought in for emergency personnel to search the water. Divers were in the water beginning Saturday morning.

    “The water visibility was very poor, making for hazardous and difficult diving conditions. The water was very murky and filled with obstacles such as stumps. At 1:20 p.m. Saturday, Muir’s body was recovered from the lake, in about 20 feet of water, by Game Warden Bob Johansen and Maine State Police Sgt. John Cote,” MacDonald said, noting, “divers were forced to swim three feet from one another due to the poor visibility.”

    The individuals attending the lake outing were interviewed by authorities Friday night and Saturday, as officials tried to determine what happened.

    “Based on interviews conducted that night and the next day, we have reason to believe alcohol was a contributing factor,” said Lt. Tom Ward, MWS.

    The search was supervised by Ward, with help from Sgt. Dan Menard, Wardens Alan Dudley, Preston Pomerleau, Ethan Buuck, Kevin Pelkey and Edward Christie, and MWS Pilot Gary Dumond. MWS divers on scene included Cpl. Mike Joy, Sgt. Scott Thrasher, Wardens Bob Johansen and Tony Gray. Also assisting at the scene were members of the Maine State Police, Presque Isle police and fire departments and Crown Ambulance.