The Maine Warden Service says two men died in separate drowning accidents over a 48-hour span.

Where Did The Incidents Take Place?

The two fatal incidents happened in separate communities. One occurred in Lincoln while the other happened west of Baxter State Park in the area known as T3 R11 Wels. In each case, the victims were with others when they drowned, but their companions were unable to save them.

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What Happened in Lincoln?

The first incident happened Sunday afternoon and involved Brian Minott, 61, of New Gloucester who was swimming in Little Narrows Pond in Lincoln. Officials say they were called to the pond after the man who was swimming off the stern of a pontoon boat at around 2:30 in the afternoon went under and never resurfaced.

When efforts to locate Minott failed, the Maine Warden Service Dive Team was called to the scene. With help from their side scan sonar and an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV), they found him about 1,000 feet from the shore, in about 30 feet of water. The ROV was able to recover Mr. Minott's body at approximately 10:00 Sunday night..

And the Other Incident?

The second incident involved Scott Newton, 38, of Madison who was whitewater rafting on the West Branch of the Penobscot River in T3 R11 Wels on Monday afternoon, downriver from the Ripogenous Dam.

Newton was on a rafting trip with two other people when the three of them were thrown into the water, after their raft had flipped shortly after launching. All three people were wearing life jackets and helmets when they were propelled through the whitewater rapids in the 'dryway' gorge area of the West Branch. Two of the rafters made it to shore, but Newton floated by them with his head down and unresponsive.

A man who was fishing on the shore nearby also saw Newton's body and called 911 from the Chewonki Big Eddy Campground. It was just a few minutes later when Newton was spotted in the area known as the Big Eddy and several people worked together to retrieve his body.

Our sincerest condolences to the families and friends of both men.

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