MANCHESTER — A Hallowell man died after slipping and falling into Cobbossee Lake on Thursday morning, but authorities did not immediately know whether the cause of the man’s death was drowning or something else, Kennebec County Sheriff Ryan Reardon said.

Before the incident, Richard Barrett, 84, was doing yard work near the home of his sister, who lived across the street at 6 Collins Road, Reardon said.

The sister found Barrett’s body in the water near the intersection of Pond and Collins roads and called for help at 10:11 a.m., Reardon said.

Units from Winthrop Ambulance Service and the Manchester Fire Department went to the scene and 20 minutes later moved Barrett’s body from the lakefront into an ambulance. Some of the rescuers wore dry suits, and at least one rescue boat was parked at the site, but it did not appear they used the boat to recover the body.

Barrett fell into the lake near its outlet into Cobbosseecontee Stream. The water there was about 5 feet deep with a dense array of vegetation. After Barrett’s body was removed from the water Thursday, a red baseball cap was floating near shore.

A deputy from the sheriff’s department was also at the scene.

Investigators don’t know exactly how Barrett ended up in the water, Reardon said, but there is no evidence of suspicious circumstances or that a car struck Barrett. His body will be taken to the state medical examiner’s office for an autopsy, Reardon added.

The lake is in Litchfield, Manchester, Monmouth, West Gardiner and Winthrop.


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