BATH, Maine — A 35-year-old Wisconsin man who reportedly fell into the Kennebec River in Bath Thursday night has been identified by police.
David Henry Dieterich of Racine, Wisconsin, was in Bath on a work assignment with his company Marshall Erecting, police said.
The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search at about noon Friday.
Assisting the Coast Guard were Maine State Police, Maine Marine Patrol, Maine Warden Service and Brunswick and Bath police, whose efforts to search for Dieterich were still active as of early Friday afternoon.
The Coast Guard said it responded at about 9:47 p.m. Thursday to a report of a man “jumping” into the Kennebec River from a pier near Kennebec Tavern. Police said the man had fell into the water.
Dieterich, a Bath Iron Works sub-contractor, was part of a small group of coworkers gathered on a floating dock by the north parking lot at Kennebec Tavern that had been roped off at the time of the fall, police said.
The group had been out socializing at several bars and restaurants in downtown Bath, and came across the area behind Kennebec Tavern, which was closed at the time and was not one of the places to which they had gone.
Witnesses told police it was “a surprise” when Dieterich had fell in the water, and that “there was no prior discussion or any indications he was going to jump.” They said they think Dieterich accidentally fell in, as the dock was very unstable.
Police said no foul play was suspected. They were focusing their search on the immediate area, but said the changing tide may have carried him away.
The military service’s Boothbay Harbor station launched a 29-foot response boat and worked alongside the other law enforcement agencies, as well as multiple local fire departments.
The Maine State Police Dive Team was on scene using a side-scan sonar to search below the water.
The Kennebec River’s water temperature was about 40 degrees Friday morning, the Coast Guard said, and its currents were moving swiftly.
If you are going out on the water, wear a life jacket, have a plan and avoid alcohol, the agency says. Notify USCG immediately if you see someone in distress.