Canoeists died of hypothermia, drowning

JONESPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- According to the State Medical Examiner's office, the Pennsylvania couple found in Chandler Bay over the weekend died of hypothermia and drowning.

Roy and Judith Carlile went for a late day canoe trip on Friday and never came back. The bodies were found over the weekend about a mile apart and searchers also found the overturned canoe. The Coast Guard said Roy's body was found in fishing gear near Sandy River Beach on Saturday morning and Judith's body was found near Roque Island about 24 hours later.

Temperatures over the weekend were in the 70s, but the water in Chandler Bay was far from warm. Temperature readings hovered at around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. At that temperature, someone with a personal flotation device would be expected to be able to swim or tread water for between one to two hours before losing consciousness. Survival in that temperature water is limited to anywhere from three to four hours.

"It can be really dangerous. Even wearing a life jacket, if you're in water for a prolong period, it can be a serious problem," said Storm Trysail Foundation Instructor Ralph Naranjo.

The second Junior Safety-at-Sea Seminar took place at Castine Harbor Monday, where 25 teenagers took part in a day-long seminar. Naranjo said the students practiced sail handling, crew overboard rescues and hypothermia.

"Sometimes the warm day hides the impact of the cold water, so the combination of windy weather and cold sea conditions can cause problems. We look at awareness that we build helps prevent any issues down the road," said Naranjo.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), symptoms of hypothermia include fatigue, loss of coordination and confusion and disorientation.

Some safety tips for going out on the water on a canoe or kayak:

  1. Go out in a group, if possible. There's safety in numbers. If you end up in the water, someone can call for help and stay with you until help arrives.
  2. If you are planning on going out in a single boat, let someone know where you're going and when you'll be back.
  3. Invest in a life vest that has an emergency beacon that automatically transmits when it gets dunked.


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