MECHANIC FALLS, Maine — A dramatic water rescue took place Tuesday afternoon in Mechanic Falls after a teen and a boy were stranded on some rocks in the fast-flowing Little Androscoggin River.
The pair were stuck in the middle of fast-moving rapids for more than an hour after a dangerous current knocked them off a tube they were floating on.
The teen and the boy were rescued just before 5:30 p.m.
“This was a tricky type of rescue when you have folks stuck in middle of river with this type of current,” said Poland Fire Chief Mark Bosse.
Only one of stranded tubers was wearing a life jacket.
“We wanted to make sure we got a life jacket on that second child so that if they did fall in the water we could catch them downstream,” said Auburn Fire CHief Frank Roma.
The rescue was caught on camera by a drone Roma had with him. He originally bought it to take photos, but it on Tuesday it was used as an important piece in the rescue.
“We used the drone to fly a tag line out to the young man that was on the rock, we instructed him to untie and to pull life jacket over to him,” said Roma.
Once they had on the proper safety gear, crews threw a rope out to them, connected to their rescue boat and entered the water.
They “put two rescuers wearing flotation devices secured to the banana boat going out in the middle,” said Bosse.
The young boy was taken off the rocks first. After the boy was safe, crews went back for the teen. Neither of them were hurt.
Officials say they hope this serves as a reminder to stay away from dangerous water.
“First and foremost, anytime you’re playing or operating around water, have a life jacket on,” said Roma.