The couple from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania was fishing off shore on Sebasticook Lake when the wind created rough water and a wave crashed into their canoe, capsizing it shortly after 1 p.m. A cell phone played a critical part in finding the couple.
"She had it in a zippered pouch that nearly floated away," Newport Assistant Fire Chief Jason Lundstrom said. "They were able to gain control of it and made the phone call, which really helped us out."
First responders said the couple is alive because they were prepared. In fact, 911 dispatchers were able to have the phone company track their phone's GPS, which firefighters say was a key to finding the couple floating in the water.
"The big thing they did right was they had their life jackets with them," District Game Warden Josh Beal of the Maine Warden Service said. "Not only did they have them with them but they were wearing them. And I'm convinced that's what saved their lives."
Newport Fire Chief Jeff Chretien agreed.
"Neither one of the people who went in the water when the canoe was upended were good swimmers," he said. "Except for being tired from their time in the cold water, EMTs gave the couple a clean bill of health. They've probably been in the water about an hour now. They didn't know where they were. And we didn't have much of a landmark to start looking, so it's a pretty big lake."
Although the couple declined to be interviewed, they appeared relieved to be back on dry ground.