A Madison man drowned Monday in the West Branch of the Penobscot River after he and two others were thrown from their whitewater raft, according to state officials.

Scott Newton, 38, and the others had just launched their raft Monday when it flipped in whitewater downriver from Ripogenus Dam and near the Big Eddy, just outside the southwestern border of Baxter State Park, according to a statement released Tuesday to the news media by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife.

The three rafters were wearing life jackets and helmets when they were thrown from the raft and then traveled through rapids in what the department said was the “dryway” gorge area of the West Branch. The two others made it ashore and told officials they then saw Newton float past them, face down and unresponsive, according to information from IF&W.

A man fishing along the shore also saw Newton’s body and called 911 from the Chewonki Big Eddy Campground. Several people retrieved Newton’s body a few minutes later from the water at the Big Eddy, according to IF&W officials.

Newton was an owner of 201 PowerSports at 29 Main St. in Bingham and Jackman, whose offerings include renting all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles.

Newton’s death was the second drowning to which Maine game wardens responded over 48 hours.

Brian Minott, 61, of New Gloucester was swimming Sunday off the stern of a pontoon boat at Little Narrows Pond in Lincoln when he went underwater and never resurfaced, according to IF&W officials.

The Maine Warden Service, Maine Forest Service, Lincoln Fire Department and Howland Fire Department responded to the scene and searched for Minott.

A dive team found his body at about 10 p.m. Sunday in about 30 feet of water about 1,000 feet from shore.

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