WATERVILLE — A report Tuesday afternoon of an overturned boat on Messalonskee Stream off Quarry Road prompted a response from emergency officials who feared someone was in the water, but later discovered the boat was chained to a tree in a flooded area.

The Fire Department got a call shortly after 1 p.m. from a person at Thayer Garden Apartments off Quarry Road who said a boat possibly had overturned, but nobody was in the area, according to fire Lt. Shawn Esler, who responded to the scene with fire Capt. Drew Corey and Darin White, the department’s rescue swimmer.

White, wearing special protective water gear, went into the flooded stream and saw that the green boat was chained to a tree, Esler said. The boat is a Jon boat, a flat-bottomed boat typically used for duck hunting or bass fishing, he said.

Because it was chained to the tree, officials determined it was placed there intentionally and no one was in the water, he said.

“It’s absolutely good news,” Esler said. “With high water and flood warnings issued, the last thing we want to do is find anybody in the water.”

The boat was visible to passers-by crossing the bridge over the Messalonskee on North Street.

Esler said he encourages people to stay away from the water, particularly with flooding occurring. Meanwhile, fire officials planned to contact the state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to try to determine who owns the boat.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

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Twitter: @AmyCalder17