A married couple whose bodies were found in the waters off Jonesport over the weekend died of hypothermia and drowning, the state medical examiner’s office concluded Monday after conducting autopsies.

The couple, Roy and Judith Carlile, who lived in Pennsylvania and had been longtime summer residents on Chandler Bay in Jonesport, had gone for an evening canoe trip together on Friday toward Roque Island and never returned.

The body of Roy Carlile, 58, was found by a fisherman around 11 a.m. Saturday entangled in lobster gear near Sandy River Beach. He was wearing a life jacket, but no wet suit or dry suit. The body of Judith Carlile, 53, who was similarly dressed, was found about 5:50 a.m. Sunday by the U.S. Coast Guard in the water north of Roque Island at the heads of Chandler and Englishman bays, according to the Maine Department of Marine Resources.

“They were both ruled accidental,” Mark Belserene, a spokesman for the medical examiner’s office, said shortly after the second autopsy was concluded Monday afternoon.

Even with a life vest, a person can lose consciousness after the onset of hypothermia and lose the muscle control that enables one to hold one’s head above water, according to the U.S. Coast Guard website.

Jeff Nichols, a spokesman for the Department of Marine Resources, said the water temperature in Chandler Bay was about 52 degrees on Friday night and hypothermia could have set in within half an hour.

Nichols said the Carliles were familiar with the area and had planned to take their 13-foot canoe from their oceanfront cabin on Sandy River Beach on a roughly mile-and-a-half paddle to Roque Island. The air temperature was about 65 degrees, and they were wearing shorts and shirts under their life jackets.

At the time the Carliles set out, to take in the sunset or Friday’s blue moon, they were facing light conditions of 1- to 2-foot seas and clear skies, Nichols said.

But he said the Department of Marine Resources recommends that boaters dress for the water temperature rather than the air temperature, meaning a wet suit or dry suit, given the water temperature Friday.

“We don’t want to sound like we are criticizing the Carliles for anything that they did. We want to express our condolences to their family and friends, but unfortunately incidents like this raise the issue of boating safety on the open water,” Nichols said.

Navigating the waters of Down East Maine in an open boat can be tricky even for experienced boaters like the Carliles, he said.

“It’s a whole different world from the ocean in southern Maine to Down East,” Nichols said.

Officials recovered a cooler that the Carliles apparently had in the green canoe with them but had not yet recovered the boat on Monday.

A Coast Guard spokesman, Lt. David Bourbeau, said the first two rules of boating safety are to wear a life jacket and tell someone when you are going out and when you have returned.

“We also would suggest having a hand-held marine radio. That way, if you do find yourself in danger, you can call out. These are significantly better than a cellphone in the marine environment in being able to function in the water,” Bourbeau said.

The Carliles lived in Warrington, Pennsylvania, but Judith Carlile, who was originally from Auburn, had been vacationing in Jonesport since she was young.

The couple married in 1999, according to Roy Carlile’s brother, Brent Carlile of Montrose, Colorado. They owned a cabin in Jonesport where they spent their summers.

“They were inseparable,” Carlile said during a telephone interview Monday night. “The only time they weren’t together was when my brother was driving a school bus. They had a special kind of love.”

Roy Carlile has been employed for about 12 years as a bus driver for the Central Bucks School District in Pennsylvania.

“It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the loss of one of our Central Bucks School District family members. Roy Carlile has been employed as a bus driver who also ran sports runs, late bus and field trips, was known by many in the CB family and will be sorely missed,” according to a letter issued Monday to school district employees by Central Bucks Superintendent David Weitzel.

Carlile also worked as a member of the food services staff at Central Bucks High School South, Weitzel said.

The letter was obtained Monday and published by The Intelligencer, a newspaper based in Pennsylvania.

Though his brother and wife enjoyed spending time at their cabin, they had just met with a builder on Thursday – the day before they died – to discuss plans for constructing a new home on property they owned in the area. Roy Carlile, a retired Navy hydraulics engineer, was planning to retire next year, his brother said.

Investigators told Carlile that they found his brother’s body with his arm wrapped around a lobster trap buoy. Carlile said that was something his brother learned in the Navy.

He remembers the last telephone conversation he had with Judith Carlile about three weeks ago. She had been trying to persuade him to visit Jonesport before he died. Carlile, who will be riding his motorcycle to Maine this weekend, has never visited the state before.

“They were kind, generous people, the kind of people you would want to meet over and over again. I just wish there were more people like that around in the world,” he said.



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