Divers on Tuesday evening recovered the body of a West Jonesport lobsterman who fell off his boat earlier in the day.

Jeff Nichols, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Marine Resources, identified the victim as Scott Chandler, 51.

Nichols said divers recovered Chandler’s body near Doyle Island, west of Hopkins Point in Jonesport, about 5:10 p.m.

“Chandler was seen falling off his 20-foot lobster boat near the island at approximately 9:20 a.m. Tuesday … by commercial seaweed harvesters in the area who reported the incident,” Nichols said in a statement.

Nichols said the circumstances under which Chandler fell into the ocean are being investigated by the Maine Marine Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard. Authorities said that Chandler was alone on his fishing boat when he fell off it.

An extensive water and air search for Chandler began Tuesday morning after the harvesters reported seeing him fall overboard.

News Center Maine (WCSH/WLBZ) reported that the water temperature in Wohoa Bay was about 51 degrees Tuesday morning.

The Coast Guard said in a separate statement that Maine State Police and Maine Warden Service divers recovered Chandler’s body off the coast of Jonesport, about 200 yards west of where he fell into the water.

His lobster boat, Marie Louise II, was taken to the Coast Guard station in Jonesport for further investigation, the statement said.

Chris Berry, an operational unit controller for the Coast Guard station in South Portland, described the search as intense and comprehensive with multiple boats, a dive team, a Coast Guard cutter, as well as a fixed-wing aircraft and a helicopter scouring the area around Doyle Island for any sign of the missing fisherman.

“His family told us that he was working alone,” Berry said, adding that the man’s empty boat was located during the search.

According to Berry, the report by the seaweed harvesters triggered a massive response and a search that covered 233 nautical square miles. The 110-foot Coast Guard cutter Sanibel, which is based in Massachusetts, responded, along with a 29-foot Coast Guard response boat out of Jonesport. The Maine Marine Patrol was also on scene with a boat carrying the Maine State Police dive team. The airplane and helicopter that responded came from Air Station Cape Cod.

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

[email protected]

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