The Maine Warden Service rescued two men Tuesday evening after their kayaks capsized on a section of the Meduxnekeag River that had become swollen with flood waters and downed trees.

Josh Ford, 33, and Alex Dalton, 24, both of Monticello, had been on the Aroostook County river for about 30 minutes when their kayaks flipped in the turbulent waters. The men, who were wearing life jackets, ended up on opposite sides of the river with one of them a quarter of a mile downstream from the other. Ford found a camp to shelter in and used his cellphone to call 911.

Game wardens had to travel over flooded and washed out roads during Tuesday’s rainstorm to reach the men, bushwhacking the final 600 yards and then along the overgrown riverbank to locate Dalton.

Air temperatures were mild – around 50 degrees – and the men did not require medical attention.

“This had the potential for a deadly outcome due to the fast, high water and the cold water temperatures,” Lt. Tom Ward of the Maine Warden Service said in a statement. “Wearing their PFDs (personal flotation device) saved their lives.”

The warden service cautioned paddlers who venture out during rainstorms to use common sense and to always wear a life jacket.

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