FORT KENT, Maine – Moderately than ready for state officers to take away two entwined useless timber that pinned a number of tubers underneath the Fish River in Fort Kent final weekend, relations of one of many ladies who practically drowned throughout the incident took motion Saturday morning to take away the timber themselves.
Kellie Jandreau, 30, practically misplaced her life final Sunday afternoon when she and a few companions struck the fallen timber whereas floating on internal tubes on the Fish River and have been pinned beneath them by speedy water currents.
The Fish River is extremely traveled by water fanatics on non-motorized watercraft resembling innertubes, kayaks, paddleboards and canoes.
When Fort Kent City Supervisor Suzie Paradis discovered of the incident, she instantly started working with the Maine Division of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to have the timber faraway from the river.
Paradis mentioned the city had supplied to take away the timber however doesn’t have authority to do it as a result of the river is underneath the purview of the Division of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, which oversees 32,000 miles of rivers and streams.
Paradis mentioned Thursday that state officers notified her that that they had discovered a bit of equipment to take away the timber, nevertheless it was unclear when that might happen.
However brothers and retired loggers Gerald and Ronald Jandreau of St. Francis, uncle and father of Kellie Jandreau respectively, weren’t ready on the state to take motion.
“She took place as near dying as you ever would need to be,” Gerald Jandreau mentioned of his niece. “We couldn’t wait any longer to do one thing to keep away from one other close to tragedy. Being two previous loggers in addition to two previous river rats having spent our life on the river, we type of knew what we needed to do.”
Early Saturday morning, the Jandreau brothers entered the water of the St. John River, which intersects with the Fish River, at Riverside Park and traveled upstream about 1,500 ft to the Fish River Bridge on a 20-foot Scott canoe with their chainsaw on the prepared.
Gerald, 59, labored the chainsaw whereas Ronald, 65 held the canoe regular.
“He’s a very good boat operator, that’s for certain,” Gerald mentioned of his brother. “There was fairly a mass underneath there. As we lower items we let all of it go down river and separated all the comb from the larger logs.”
The Jandreau brothers weren’t the one ones who had in thoughts eradicating the hazardous timber from the river earlier than state officers may get there. Once they arrived Saturday morning the brothers discovered Andrew Marquis, proprietor of Marquis Tree Works, standing on the Fish River shoreline.
Marquis has been within the tree elimination enterprise for 16 years and was surveying the timber with the intention of eradicating them himself.
He mentioned a useless spruce and useless poplar, neither of which have been connected to the shoreline, have been each wedged towards the bridge and undoubtedly proposed a hazard to these traversing the river.
Gerald Jandreau mentioned he didn’t notify Paradis about his and his brother’s plans to take away the useless timber.
“The logs and brush have been moved aside so the hazard is not a difficulty,” Gerald Jandreau mentioned.
Jandreau was certainly one of 10 Fort Kent residents, together with three kids, who had set out for a calming day on the river on 5 internal tubes and a paddleboard final Sunday. The group entered the water on the finish of Bradbury Street and deliberate to drift a number of miles to Riverside Park.
The tubes, all tied collectively, struck the timber positioned underneath the Fish River Bridge and flipped as Jandreau, her pal Jill Pelletier, 37, and a 13-year-old lady, have been sucked underneath the timber by a strong present.
Two members of their social gathering have been in a position to pull Pelletier from beneath the timber whereas the teen managed to free herself.
Jandreau mentioned she was certain she was about to die because the highly effective present pushed her deep underwater towards the timber.
“Lastly, someway I bought unfastened and the present pulled me via all the comb downstream,” Jandreau mentioned.
Jandreau mentioned her physique was overwhelmed and bruised, and Pelletier had breathed in water.