A duck hunter was rescued after spending 12 hours standing on his submerged boat in waist deep water.

Maine Warden Corporal John MacDonald says a good trip plan may have saved Bruce Thibodeau's life. The 57-year-old's wife, Joan, notified authorities when her husband failed to return from a duck hunting trip to Staceyville. He had told her where he planned to hunt, so authorities were able to limit their search to a confined area.

Wardens located the Silver Ridge resident's vehicle at Sawtelle Deadwater in R6-R7 WELS in northern Penobscot County. A short time later, Thibodeau was contacted by voice, and wardens used a watercraft to travel about a mile up the deadwater to Thibodeau's location. When they arrived at around 2:00 Wednesday morning, they found him standing in waist deep water, on top of his submerged boat. He told authorities that he had been hunting when his small flat-bottomed boat flipped over. He'd been standing in the water since about 2:00 Tuesday afternoon.

Thibodeau explained to the game wardens that the thick vegetation and deep mud had prevented him from swimming to shore. He refused medical attention and was able to drive himself home. Thibodeau plans to retrieve his boat and hunting equipment later this week.

MacDonald says the rescue, from time of report to the discovery of Thibodeau, took about three hours, thanks to the fact that he told his wife where he planned to hunt. It's important for hunters to either let someone know where they plan to go or, at the very least, to leave a note on their vehicle detailing their route. That way, time isn't wasted looking in the wrong area, should the hunter become lost.

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