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April 11, 2009
80-Year-Old Machias Man Found after Trek on Porcupine Mountain
Augusta, Maine - An 80-year-old Machias man who Game Wardens say is “fit as a fiddle” was located near Libby Brook early this morning after getting lost Friday while marking a trail on Porcupine Mountain behind the University of Maine at Machias.
Richard McLaughlin, 80, left his home sometime before 11:30 a.m. Friday with a couple of cans of spray paint to mark a trail, according to Maine Warden Sgt. David Craven. Mr. McLaughlin had told the widow of a longtime friend that he would go and prepare the trail on Porcupine Mountain on Friday so that they, along with family and friends, could follow the trail today and spread her husband’s ashes on the mountain, which is what the friend requested before he died recently.
According to Sgt. Craven, Mr. McLaughlin got disoriented in the woods and couldn’t locate the trail he was making. He heard Libby Brook and headed towards it.
Mr. McLaughlin had made a shelter, and used fir boughs – stuffed inside his shirt and as a blanket -- to protect him from the weather. “He smelled like a wreath,” said Sgt. Craven. “Other than that, he was cold but fine. His plans were to stay put along Libby Brook overnight and then follow it to a roadway this morning.”
The Machias Police Department notified the Maine Warden Service at approximately 10 p.m. that Mr. McLaughlin had been reported missing by his brother. Mr. McLaughlin’s vehicle was located behind the University of Maine at Machias shortly thereafter.
According to Sgt. Craven, Porcupine Mountain is thick with trees and brush. Search-and-rescue teams at times needed to use their bodies like a bulldozer to push through the woods.
Involved in the search for Mr. McLaughlin were: Wardens Joe McBrine, Wayde Carter (with his K-9), and Paul Farrington (with his K-9), Leslie Howe and teams from the Maine Search and Rescue Dogs, and Richard Scribner and Andrea Ednie from UMM’s outdoor recreation program.
The teams heard Mr. McLaughlin respond to his name being called, and Warden Farrington was able to reach him at approximately 1:30 a.m. today along Libby Brook.
Mr. McLaughlin did not need medical attention.
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