UPDATE – The body of 32-year-old Santana Dubon of Portland was recovered around 4:30 this afternoon by members of the Maine State Police dive team.

Sgt. Daniel White of the Maine Marine Patrol said it appears that Dubon drowned after his canoe capsized on the Cathance River in Bowdoinham.

His body was found just upstream from the town landing where he and his wife, and another relative set out Saturday – they were in one canoe – for an afternoon of fishing and relaxation, White said.

Dubon was not wearing a life jacket.

The search for Dubon started last night and resumed today.


BOWDOINHAM — The Maine Marine Patrol and state police divers searched the Cathance River on Saturday night and today for a canoeist who disappeared while boating with two family members.

Santana Dubon, 32, of Portland, could not be found after the canoe capsized around 7:30 p.m. Saturday, said Sgt. Daniel White of the marine patrol.

Emergency crews, including a Coast Guard helicopter from Massachusetts, searched until midnight and began looking again at daybreak this morning.
While they also searched along the shore, efforts today were focused on the river about 400 yards south of the Route 24 bridge. Divers were hampered by murky water that prevented them from seeing underwater more than about a foot in front to them, White said.

“We are searching in a particular area of interest, which may or may not result in something,” he said. “The visibility is hampering what the divers can see.”

Overhead, a marine patrol float plane circled for hours, replacing the helicopter.

White declined to say whether Dubon was wearing a life preserver and he did not want to disclose other details while the accident is under investigation.

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.

A large group of kayakers launched today from the boat landing for a guided tour upriver while the search was under way downriver. More than a dozen state police and local fire and rescue crews used Philip Mailly Waterfront Park as home base.

Dubon’s family members gathered at a picnic table under a tree in the park, periodically walking to the bridge to watch the search. They declined to speak to a reporter while the search was under way.

Those familiar with the boat launch said it is a popular boating, kayaking and canoeing spot. There are rocks under the bridge, particularly at low tide, which can pose a hazard to boaters.