October 19, 2020

MDIFW NEWS: Father and Son Saved By Lifejackets

CLIFTON, Maine - Life jackets likely saved the lives of a father and son who capsized their canoe yesterday evening in Clifton.

Ranjit Pandher, age 59 and his nine- year-old son Amandeep were out in a canoe on Hopkins Pond in Clifton when they shifted their position in the canoe and capsized the canoe at approximately 5:15 last night. Both were wearing lifejackets which allowed Ranjit to climb back into the canoe while Amandeep hung onto the side.

Amandeep called 911 from the water and help was dispatched from Holden and Eddington Fire departments as well as the Maine Warden Service. A Maine Forest Service helicopter was called but ultimately was not needed. A responding game warden called a contact, Geoff Smith, who resides on Hopkins Pond. Smith and a firefighter from Eddington F.D. went out in Smith's 14-foot boat and were able to rescue both father and son. The Pandhers were transported to Northern Light, Eastern Maine Medical Center for possible hypothermia. The father and son were released last night.

"The life jackets likely saved their lives," said Maine Game Warden Sergeant Alan Gillis. This time of year, hypothermia sets in quickly, and you lose your ability to swim and stay afloat. This story likely would have had a tragic ending if the Pandhers were not wearing their life jackets.