Quick action by a Westport Island man might have saved another man’s life after his boat capsized while he was fishing Monday in Damariscotta Lake.

David Reiss, 51, of Westport Island, said Monday afternoon that he hauled a man into his boat after finding him in the water near his capsized aluminum rowboat.

“I was out there fishing and I’m hearing this sound from the other side of the lake,” Reiss said. “I didn’t think a whole lot of it, and then I heard it again.”

“It sounds like somebody’s in trouble. God forbid, somebody may be in the water,” he added about his thoughts before he sped toward the noises.

Reiss saw the man in the water about 90 feet from his boat and hauled him into his vessel. He said the man had been in the 45-degree water for about a half-hour and was clearly disoriented.

“He couldn’t remember how old he was,” Reiss said. “He couldn’t remember where he lived, what his address was.”

Reiss said the man was more than a mile away from him, but calm conditions allow sound from his cries for help to travel far.

“Things just came right together,” he said. “He was really lucky, now that I think about it.”

Reiss then called Jefferson native Joe Holland, who helped warm the patient up at the town’s boat landing when Reiss’ boat got to shore. Holland said he has experience pulling people from the water — he counted four past instances of doing so — and the man rescued was in as bad shape as anyone he had seen being pulling out of the water.

“I met Reiss there with warm blankets,” Holland said. “We kept him in his clothes and I started rubbing to (promote circulation.)

Holland, the owner of the Jefferson Scoop ice cream shop, knew the man rescued and said one of the first things he said when he came to was how he was “thankful to God” for Reiss being in a position to save him.

Reiss recalled the experience in a a video posted on Facebook by Holland. Jefferson Fire and Rescue commended Holland and Reiss for their actions in a Facebook post,

First responders were called around 11 a.m. and found Reiss and Holland waiting at the Jefferson boat launch when the two came to shore. Rescue units from Waldoboro and Jefferson arrived shortly after first aid was administered by Reiss and Holland, and the man was taken to a hospital. Morris said the man was in “relatively stable” condition.

Jefferson Fire Chief Walter Morris said the man rescued was wearing a life preserver, but he said he did not know how long he had been in the water. He said the local crews, with the help of game wardens, retrieved the man’s boat from the lake after he was taken to Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta.

Morris declined to identify the rescued fisherman.

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