The body of an Indian Island man who fell into the Kenduskeag Stream on Sunday has been recovered.
John Nadeau, 41, was with Sumer Francis, also of Indian Island, at the Flour Mill rapids overlook, located at Valley Avenue and Bruce Road, in Bangor taking photographs about 5:30 p.m. Sunday, according to Mark Latti, communications director for the Maine Department of Inland, Fisheries and Wildlife. While standing on the wooden platform overlooking the water, Nadeau stepped over the protective railings and shortly after lost his balance and fell into the stream.
His body was located about 8:45 a.m. Monday by a warden service diver on the bottom of the stream not far from where he fell in, Latti said.
Chad Tracy learned of his friend’s death on Monday when he returned from a fishing trip.
“He’s the kind of person you’d want your kid to grow up to be or to hang out with,” Tracy, 38, of Bangor said Sunday evening.
Nadeau, the youngest of three boys, grew up in Bangor Gardens but his mother died when he was 6, according to Tracy.
The men met in high school and Nadeau served in the U.S. Marine Corps, he said. They reconnected six or seven years ago working as carpenters. Nadeau had been working recently on a project on Indian Island on new offices and community center for the Penobscot Nation.
Tracy said that Nadeau had no children and had never married, and that he owned a home in Bangor Gardens.
“What I’m going to miss most about him is his compassion for people,” Tracy said. “I’ve literally seen him give his shirt off his back and the last $20 in his pocket to people.”
Nadeau’s father, the Rev. Roland Nadeau, now 83, was ordained a Catholic priest in 2000, after raising his sons. He retired in early 2016.
“John’s not the type of guy this kind of an accident would happen to,” Tracy said. “He’s the kind of guy who would stop this from happening.”
Nadeau’s body was taken to Brookings and Smith Funeral home in Bangor and the Maine medical examiner’s office was notified, Latti said.
Members of the warden service, the Bangor fire department and DEEMI Search and Rescue worked until dark Sunday. Search efforts resumed about 6 a.m. Monday.
Sgt. Alan Gillis of the warden service said that six members of the warden service’s dive team were on site Monday morning with two in the water at a time. He said that conditions were dangerous.
“The rapid current, the cold water and the ledges makes it about as bad as it gets,” Gillis said.
The National Weather Service over the weekend issued a warning about the cold water temperatures in Maine’s streams, rivers, lakes and beaches. The cold water temperatures can quickly cause hypothermia to anyone immersed in the water.
The body of the last person who fell into the Kenduskeag Stream was not found for more than four months. Peter Manuel, 23, of Bangor fell through the ice on the stream about 1 a.m. March 2, 2018, behind a Harlow Street nightclub.
A boater spotted his body on June 23, 2018, when it surfaced by the docks beneath the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge, near the Sea Dog Restaurant and just a quarter-mile downstream from where Manuel went into the water. Autopsy results confirmed that he drowned and the manner of death was deemed accidental.