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A Franklin man died Monday in Tunk Lake after swimming after a boat that had drifted away from shore, according to a state official.

Ronald Thomas, 74, was launching his 16-foot boat shortly before 9 a.m. at the public boat launch on Tunk Lake in Township 10 in Hancock County, Cpl. John MacDonald, spokesman for the Maine Warden Service, said Tuesday. The boat’s bow line broke and it began floating away while Thomas was launching it, MacDonald said.

“Thomas attempted to swim and retrieve the boat which had drifted about 20 yards from shore,” MacDonald said. “Thomas died while attempting to retrieve the watercraft.”

Thomas’ body was recovered by emergency responders but he could not be revived, MacDonald said. The warden service continues to investigate Thomas’ apparent drowning, which is not considered to be a boating accident, he said.

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Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....