CLINTON — Rescue workers used 18 scuba divers Wednesday on the third day of searching the Sebasticook River for a 36-year-old man.

The search for Justin Howard included 12 divers from the Maine Warden Service and six from Maine State Police and Maine Marine Patrol, according to Mark Latti, communications director for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, which includes the warden service.

High water and strong currents prevented divers from entering the water earlier in the week, but Latti said divers Wednesday were able to find areas of the river where the current had slowed.

Rescue workers search Tuesday for Justin Howard, 36, in the Sebasticook River in Clinton. The search continued Wednesday, adding 18 scuba divers to the effort. High water and swift currents prevented divers from entering the river earlier in the week. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

Howard, 36, was visiting friends Monday near Pleasant Street in Clinton when witnesses said he ran onto Water Street and into the river at about 4 p.m., Clinton police Chief Stanley “Rusty” Bell said earlier this week.

Howard was last seen wearing a gray-blue sweatshirt, khaki pants and blue sneakers.

Rescue workers this week have used boats, a helicopter and dogs as part of the search.

Latti said searchers in an airplane scoured the river for several miles, from Clinton down into Winslow, where the Sebasticook River meets the Kennebec River.

Bell said Wednesday the search could conclude Thursday morning, unless rescue workers find evidence of Howard’s location.

Police said they have a preliminary understanding of why Howard went into the river Monday, but Bell said he wanted officers to speak with other witnesses before he releases more details.

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