BOWDOINHAM – The body of a Portland man whose canoe capsized while he was fishing with his wife Saturday night was recovered from the Cathance River in Bowdoinham on Sunday afternoon.

Sgt. Daniel White of the Maine Marine Patrol said members of the Maine State Police dive team recovered the body of 32-year-old Santana Dubon around 4:30 p.m.

White said Dubon’s body, which will be examined by the state Medical Examiner’s Office, was found upstream from the Route 24 bridge, near Bowdoinham’s downtown.

He appears to have drowned.

White said Dubon, his wife and another relative set out in a single canoe from the Philip Mailly Waterfront Park on Saturday for an afternoon of fishing and relaxation.

Authorities got a distress call around 7:30 p.m. Saturday saying that Dubon’s canoe had capsized.

Dubon’s wife and her cousin swam to safety. But Dubon, who was not wearing a life jacket, according to White, disappeared from their view.

“They went to get help after they lost sight of him,” White said.

Emergency crews, including a Coast Guard helicopter from Massachusetts, searched the river until midnight and began looking again at daybreak Sunday.

More than 50 volunteers searched along the shore while divers searched in the river.

White said the river’s murky water prevented divers from seeing more than about 1 foot underwater.

“The visibility is hampering what the divers can see,” White said during Sunday’s search.

As part of that effort, a marine patrol float plane circled the search area for hours Sunday.

The Cathance is a tidal, U-shaped river that flows into Merrymeeting Bay on one end, and from Bradley Pond in Topsham on the other.

The boat landing at the town’s waterfront park is a popular recreation spot for kayakers, canoeists and fishermen. A large group of kayakers launched from the park Sunday for a guided tour of the river.

Dubon’s family members gathered at a picnic table in the waterfront park, walking to the Route 24 bridge occasionally to watch the search. They declined to speak to a reporter.

“The family is taking it very hard,” White said.

Sister Patricia Pora, who works for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, operates a ministry for Portland’s Latino community.

“I don’t know him personally, but he is from Portland, and he is from (El) Salvador,” Pora said.

Pora said Dubon has been living in the Portland area for a while, but she was not sure how long.

She said his family “was in mourning and was attending a prayer service” Sunday night.

No other details about Dubon were available Sunday.

Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Susan Cover can be contacted at 620-7015 or at:

[email protected]

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]