Updated at 11:20 a.m.

GARDINER — Three men escaped, though one was hospitalized, after two all-terrain vehicles they were riding sunk into the frigid waters of the Kennebec River late Tuesday night.

Capt. Rich Kindelan of the Gardiner Fire Department said two of the men were able to get out of the water on their own, but a third remained trapped roughly 50 yards off shore near River Avenue.

The identification of the rescued man was unavailable.

Kindelan said the man was mostly out of the water, holding onto the ice, but he couldn’t pull himself out. 

Gardiner Fire and Rescue, assisted by Gardiner police and Maine State Police, used ropes and cold water gear to get to the stranded man and pull him onto the shore. None of the rescuers were injured.

The victim was taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta for treatment of hypothermia. His injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

Game Warden Jason Luce said it wasn’t clear how the ATVs ended up in the river.

Responders were called about 9:45 p.m. after the two men got out of the water and called for help. Gardiner fire and rescue crews responded.

Kindelan said the victim spent relatively little time in the frigid waters.

“It was right around the corner from our station, so I would say no more than 10 to 12 minutes,” he said.

At least one ATV remained in the river as of Wednesday morning.

“Our primary concern is, these guys are OK,” Luce said.


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