Correction: Early police statements identified the body of water as the Sebasticook River.

UPDATE 1:34pm

RIPLEY — A Ripley man and his 7-year-old son were wading fully clothed in the Main Stream during a birthday party when they disappeared and were later found dead, a spokesman for the Maine State Police said Monday.

Christopher Zoeller, 40, and son, Bravin Zoeller, were pronounced dead at the Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft on Sunday night after they had been recovered by rescue personnel who donned wet suits to search for them, said state police spokesman Stephen McCausland.

The two decided to cool off in the stream during the party and they were together when they disappeared, McCausland said. Another member of the birthday party who had also been in the water while carrying an infant went to shore and when that person turned around the two Zoellers were gone, he said.

“The water is still extremely cold this time of year,” McCausland said. “They got out too far and obviously the clothing weighed them down.”

It took rescue workers about 30 minutes to locate the bodies in 3 to 6 feet of water.

McCausland said the cold water and the weight of the victims’ clothes contributed to their deaths.

State Police Sgt. Vicki Gardner told the Bangor Daily News a dozen people attended the birthday party, and of that group, five or six went into the water.

 

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RIPLEY — Maine State Police say a 40-year-old man and his 7-year-old son drowned in the Main Stream during a family birthday party at their Ripley home,

Police say 40-year-old Christopher Zoeller and son, Bravin Zoeller, were pronounced dead at the Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft after the 4 p.m. Sunday incident.

Police say both Zoellers were fully clothed.

State Police Sgt. Vicki Gardner tells the Bangor Daily News a dozen people attended the birthday party, and of that group, five or six went into the water.