West Baldwin man drowns in Aziscohos Lake

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The shore at the Shields Camp, and looks out at the mooring and boat from where Michael Shields, 54, of West Baldwin, attempted to swim to shore.

LINCOLN PLANTATION – A West Baldwin man drowned late Monday morning in Aziscohos Lake, after attempting to swim to shore after mooring his boat.

Michael Shields, 54 of West Baldwin, “had attached his boat to the mooring in front of his camp on the Alca Flats Road at about 11:30 a.m., and was attempting to swim back to shore from the boat when he went under the water about 50 yards from his camp and never resurfaced,” according to Mark Latti, spokesperson for the Maine Warden Service.

With no cell coverage in the area, his wife and father-in-law who both saw him go under, had to drive 17 miles down a dirt road to get to a landline at Black Brook Cove Camp to call for help.

Maine Warden Service pilot Jeff Beach launched his airplane soon after, and searched the lake looking for Shields from the air. A Maine Forest Service helicopter flew two state police divers and their equipment to the remote location on Aziscohos Lake to assist in the search and recovery.

The pilots both observed something in the water near the shore, and the two State Police divers dove in the area, and were able to recover the body in about 10 feet of water near the shore at about 6:30 p.m.

Shields was transported to the Wiles Funeral Home, where he will be examined by the State Medical Examiner today. The Maine Warden Service was assisted in the search and recovery by the Rangeley Fire Department, Wilsons Mills Fire Department, Maine Forest Service, Maine State Police Dive Team, Maine Marine Patrol, and the US Border Patrol.

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