A Portland man died Saturday when his fishing raft overturned in a tributary of Moosehead Lake.

According to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Truc Huynh was spending the day with a friend Saturday on the East Outlet, which flows out of Moosehead Lake. They were fishing from a raft and, around noon, decided to move to another area on the river to fish. As they descended through some whitewater rapids, however, the boat overturned and threw the two men into the water.

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Huynh was not wearing a life jacket and was swept under by the current. Officials say he never resurfaced. His friend, who was wearing a life jacket, made it to shore and called for help. Maine Game Wardens and witnesses to the incident searched the shoreline but could not find Mr. Huynh.

Wardens launched an airplane to search the river, with Maine Warden Service Pilot Chris Hilton finally able to locate Hyunh at approximately 4:00 pm, still underwater, downstream from where the raft overturned. The wardens launched a boat and recovered the body at approximately 4:20 Saturday afternoon.

This tragic accident serves as a good reminder of the importance of wearing a life jacket whenever you're in a boat. Just having the floatation device in the watercraft doesn't help, as there's rarely enough time in a crisis to grab the life jacket and put it on.

Our condolences to Mr. Huynh's family and friends.

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