RAYMOND, Maine (NEWS CENTER)
A 52 year-old man Connecticut man is dead after falling out of a canoe in Raymond between Thursday night and Friday morning.
Game wardens found the body of Christopher Hughes in Panther Pond Friday.
They say Hughes' death could likely have been prevented if he was wearing a life vest.
It’s also the third time in recent weeks that someone has died while boating in Maine.
According to U.S. Coast Guard statistics, New England has seen a 62 percent increase in boating deaths between 2015 and 2016.
40 of the 55 people who died drowned and more than half of them had been in some sort of paddlecraft.
Most notably, four out of every five people who died weren't wearing life jackets.
The Coast Guard, game wardens and Maine businesses that rent canoes and kayaks are now strongly urging boaters to wear life vests.
“People need some kind of system to help keep them buoyant, no matter how good of a swimmer you are or how close to shore you are,” said Corporal John MacDonald, of the MWS. “You can hit your head if you go over, a life jacket can keep you up.”
Investigators are expected to determine if alcohol was a contributing factor to Hughes' death.
His body will be looked at by the state medical examiner.