Two canoeists who were overdue to return from their camping trip were found alive and well in Madison on Monday afternoon after a brief search by Maine State Police and the Maine Warden Service.

One of the canoes Jake Cyr, 22, of Guilford, and Tyson Bell, 31, of Dixmont took on their camping trip. Photo courtesy of the Maine Warden Service

The families of Jake Cyr, 22, of Guilford and Tyson Bell, 31, of Dixmont notified the state police and wardens around 10:40 a.m. on Monday after not hearing from Cyr or Bell since Sunday morning.

Cyr and Bell had begun their trip Saturday evening in Bingham. They camped Saturday and Sunday night on the river, portaging at the Solon Dam and the first of the two Madison dams.

Shortly after police and the warden service were notified and began searching, Cyr and Bell went to the Family Dollar store in Madison, purchased a phone charger and recharged their phones, which were flooded with text messages by concerned family members.

Cyr and Bell contacted their families, who quickly called state police and the search was halted. Cyr and Bell told game wardens that their cellphones had lost power, resulting in the lack of communication with their families.

Both men were operating their own canoe and had proper life jackets with them, according to the warden service in a statement.

“Whenever you head outdoors, let someone know where you are going, and when you plan to return,” Corporal John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service said in the statement. “More than ever, it’s important to enjoy Maine’s outdoors safely and responsibly.”


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