Maine officer dies from river rescue injuries

Nathan M. Desjardins died from injuries sustained when a police boat crashed enroute to rescue canoeists last month

Duty Death: Nathan M. Desjardins - [Fryeburg, Maine]

End of Service: 06/06/2017


Sun Journal

FRYEBURG, Maine — Fryeburg police officer Nathan M. Desjardins, 20, died Tuesday from injuries sustained when a police boat crashed enroute to rescue canoeists in the Saco River last month, Police Chief Josh Potvin announced in a news release Wednesday.

Desjardins joined the department three months earlier, and it was his first water rescue, Potvin said.

Nathan M. Desjardins (Photo/Fryeburg Police Department)
Nathan M. Desjardins (Photo/Fryeburg Police Department)

Desjardins had been listed in critical condition at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston after he and a fellow officer, Dale Stout, 51, crashed their patrol boat while responding to help three people whose canoe had overturned May 27.

On May 30, Maine Warden Service divers found the body of 38-year-old Jennifer Bousquet of South Berwick roughly 350 yards downstream from where the canoe flipped. Bousquet, her boyfriend, Brian Day, 54, also of South Berwick, and Wayne Demers, 62, of Somersworth, New Hampshire, had lost control of their canoe. Day and Demers made it to shore.

Stout was also injured and taken to Central Maine Medical Center and released May 29. 

“In the course of a police officer’s responsibilities, they expose themselves to very real risks and dangers every day," Potvin said in the written statement. "Members of the Fryeburg Police Department are deeply saddened by the tragic death of our colleague. We offer our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the family, fellow colleagues and friends of Nathan.

"During this extremely difficult time of mourning the loss of one of my own, I have to find the words and strength to inspire my officers, to motivate them and reassure them that together we will be OK and still have a job to do," Potvin wrote. "I ask that you keep Officer Desjardins' family in your thoughts and prayers as well as our law enforcement and first-responder community during this extremely difficult time.”

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©2017 the Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine)


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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