FRYEBURG, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Fryeburg Police and Rescue saved 15 people from the banks of the Saco River early Tuesday morning.
Police said the group of 15 people, the youngest being 12-years-old, started their trip on the river around 10 a.m. and had rented equipment from Saco River Canoe and Kayak. Around 10 p.m., the group told police the water rose about two feet within 10 minutes. Police said the group tried to abort their trip and return to landing, but one of the canoes capsized between Indian Acres Campground and Canal Bridge Campground, leaving the entire group stranded on the riverbank.
"The high and fast moving river coupled with the early morning fog made for extremely unsafe conditions for rescuers," said acting Chief of Police Joshua Potvin.
Fryeburg Police and Rescue began their operation shortly after midnight. This stretch of the river is only easily accessible by water, but because it was nighttime, police said they determined it was safer to do it via land. The total operation took four hours and included a two mile hike into the woods. Officials rescued the entire group safely and gave them warm blankets.