Aroostook duck hunter stranded in waist-deep water waited 12 hours for rescue

6 years ago

A southern Aroostook duck hunter stood in waist-deep water on the hull of his submerged boat for 12 hours before game wardens came to his rescue early Wednesday morning, authorities said.

On Tuesday night, Silver Ridge resident Bruce Thibodeau still hadn’t returned home from a duck hunting trip in Northern Penobscot County, so his wife, Joan, reported him missing, according to Cpl. John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service.

Knowing that Thibodeau had gone hunting in the area between Herseytown and the unorganized territory of T7-R7 WELS, wardens eventually found the man’s empty car parked at the Sawtelle Deadwater.

Soon after, the searchers made voice contact with Thibodeau, and using a small boat, traveled about a mile up the deadwater to find the man standing on top of his flipped boat, waist-deep in water, MacDonald said.

At that point, it was 2 a.m., and 12 hours had passed since the hunter’s small, flat-bottomed vessel suddenly overturned, MacDonald said.

Not able to swim to shore because of the deep mud and thick vegetation, Thibodeau told wardens he decided to remain standing on his capsized boat.

Following his early morning rescue, he refused medical treatment, and drove home, according to MacDonald. He planned to go back for his sunken boat and hunting gear later in the week, the corporal said.