A life jacket is being credited as the likely life-saver for James Leavitt, 70, of Winthrop, whose canoe flipped Monday on Upper Narrows Pond.

According to a press release from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, Leavitt was on the pond when his 14-foot Old Town canoe capsized, threw him into the pond and dragged him through the water because the canoe’s electric motor was still running.

Leavitt, who was wearing a life jacket, was rescued by Ronald LeClair who lives on the pond and used his own canoe to reach Leavitt who was whistling and yelling for help.

Leavitt was found about 100 yards from shore holding on to his capsized canoe, according to the release.

The boat accident was reported by Ida Turgeon of Upper Narrows Pond Road. Turgeon reported hearing a boat crash and someone yelling for help.

Maine Game Wardens and as well as Winthrop Police, Fire and Rescue responded to the call that came in at 6:11 p.m. Monday.

Leavitt spent about 30 minutes in the water and was treated on scene by Winthrop Rescue for cold water exposure.

“Leavitt, who was not injured, told Warden Service he always wears his life jacket when on the water due to a previous shoulder injury that prevents him from swimming,” according to the press release. “Game Warden Steve Allarie commended Leavitt for having his required safety equipment and wearing his life jacket, which likely saved his life.”

The Warden Services asks boaters to always wear life jackets for safe boating.


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