Officials: 2 dead in kayaking accident off Maine coast

Officials: 2 dead in kayaking accident off Maine coast

June 23 (Reuters) - Two people died and a third was hospitalized after their kayaks overturned off the coast of Maine's Mount Deseret Island, a popular tourist destination, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Thursday.

One of the paddlers' wives called authorities on Thursday evening after her husband and two friends were two hours late in returning from a planned trip, officials said in a statement.

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Local boaters found one woman clinging to an overturned kayak in nearby waters, hypothermic and unable to speak. She was transported to a Bangor hospital, officials said.

The bodies of the other two paddlers were also recovered by local boaters, officials said.

"This is a very tragic outcome," said Kenneth Stuart, the Coast Guard's command duty officer for northern New England. "We deeply appreciate the efforts of those local boaters who assisted tonight and we'll be working to determine what happened and how to prevent such accidents from occurring in the future."

Located about 150 miles northeast of Portland, Mount Deseret Island is home to Acadia National Park, which draws some 2.5 million visitors a year. (Reporting by Scott Malone in Boston; Editing by Bernadette Baum)