June 4, 2019

MDIFW NEWS: Brothers Survive Near Drowning On Umsaskis Lake On Allagash Waterway

T11 R13, Maine - Two brothers nearly drowned last night on Umsaskis Lake on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.

Brothers Larry Fiori, age 70 of Kennebunk, and Michael Fiori, age 67 of Brunswick, were fishing in a 16-foot Grumman canoe on Umsaskis Lake just before 8:00 last evening when bad weather moved in. The pair decided to motor back to shore toward safety, but the canoe began to take on water and quickly became submerged. Both men were forced into water, and neither were wearing lifejackets.

Michael Fiori made it to shore where there was a group of boy scouts camping at Sandy Point. The scouts had heard his cries for help and assisted him to shore. Larry Fiori was unable to make it to shore and spent nearly two hours in the lake before making it to shore. While in the water, he clung to a portion of a lifejacket and floating fuel tank that was used for the outboard motor. Due to the remoteness of the area, cell phone service was not immediately available, but at approximately 10:30 last evening an emergency call was made and the Maine Warden Service and Ashland Ambulance personnel responded.

While responding, game wardens learned that Larry had made it out of the water, and Ashland Ambulance was transporting Larry to Northern Lighthouse Hospital in Presque Isle where he was treated for hypothermia. Allagash Waterway rangers were able to locate some of the men's belongings this morning but were unable to find the canoe, presumed to be on the lake bottom.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife reminds all boaters the importance of wearing lifejackets. Simply having lifejackets onboard during a boating emergency may not allow occupants the time or the means to fasten them when needed. Water temperatures remain cold as well, increasing the need for all boaters to wear lifejackets.