FRYEBURG, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A Fryeburg Police officer who was critically injured during the rescue of a canoeist in the Saco River on Memorial Day Weekend has died, according to the department.
Twenty-year-old Nathan Desjardins died Tuesday at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. He suffered a severe head injury during a rescue operation on the Saco River on May 27. It was his first day of training.
“In the course of a police officer’s responsibilities, they expose themselves to very real risks and dangers every day. Members of the Fryeburg Police Department are deeply saddened by the tragic death of our colleague. We offer our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the family, fellow colleagues and friends of Nathan," Chief Joshua Potvin said in a press release.
Officer Desjardins and Officer Dale Stout were in a police boat attempting to locate 38-year-old Jennifer Bousquet of South Berwick, whose canoe capsized. The officers hit an object near the shore while coming around a corner. Desjardins and Stout were ejected and were taken to Central Maine Medical Center by Lifeflight.
"During this extremely difficult time of mourning the loss of one of my own, I have to find the words and strength to inspire my officers, to motivate them and reassure them that together we will be okay and still have a job to do," Chief Potvin said. “On behalf of your fellow brothers and sisters at Fryeburg Police; rest in peace buddy, we’ll take it from here."
A GoFundMe page has been set up on behalf of Desjardins. It can be found here.