Richard "Dickey" Lemont
PHIPPSBURG, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The search for Richard "Dickey" Lemont began early Thursday afternoon in Phippsburg, after Lemont's boat was spotted going in circles in the Kennebec River with no one aboard.
Marine Patrol aircraft, a Coast Guard helicopter, Coast Guard boats and Marine Patrol vessels all searched up and down a mile-and-a-half section of river, from Popham Beach to Parker Head. Teams of local firefighters and volunteers walked the shoreline and searched the islands in case Lemont had somehow made it to shore.
Lemont is 43-years-old and is described as well-known and well-liked in town.
"He'd give you the shirt off his back," said Town Administrator Mike Young.
Lemont served for many years as chairman of the town's shellfish committee served on the harbor commission and worked on a variety of other local causes. Marine Patrol Lieutenant John Cornish, who also knows Dickey Lemont, says he was a man who knew the river very well, and that everyone is shocked by the accident. Cornish says he was told Lemont finished digging clams earlier in the morning on Thursday, and went downriver to cut a fallen tree that had gotten lodged in the town dock at Popham Beach. He was apparently coming home from that job when he somehow fell overboard.
Search dogs were brought in Friday afternoon. The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its part in the search. The Marine Patrol and volunteers will continue searching on Saturday, using a boat and an airplane.