Midcoast man says he watched brother drown in Androscoggin River

With no sign of Stephen Wines, his brother who tried to save him is still hoping he's found. (CTSY Tasha Caves)

BRUNSWICK (WGME) – A Midcoast man says he watched his brother get swept away, after he fell out of a boat and into the Androscoggin River.

Days later, he still hasn't been found.

Crews returned to the water Monday, after bad weather called off the search.

They've been out there all weekend, bringing their own boats, even when Marine Patrol called it off because of weather. But with still no sign of Stephen Wines, his brother who tried to save him is still hoping he's found.

William Wines and his brother, Stephen, were close.

Friday was no different.

He says they were returning from their first fishing trip of the season, along the Androscoggin, when Stephen somehow fell off the boat.

"I want to know why he didn't scream, because that's just not right,” Wines said. “He would have said something."

That's when he jumped in to try and rescue him, but it was too late.

"I know for sure he's gone,” Wines said. “I watched him take his last couple breaths under water."

William says Stephen was feeling under the weather, but isn't sure if he passed out.

He says he tried to bring his brother to shore, but after 30 minutes William says he had to let go of his brother's limp body.

He says if he hadn't, he would have died as well.

"I know he didn't suffer, because he didn't move the whole half hour I had him in my arms," Wines said.

Through tough waves and bad weather, searchers have been combing the banks of the river all day.

"We have some friends and family out here, and we would just love for anyone to help us," Wines said.

Wines says he hopes the added resources will help his family get closure on what may have happened to Stephen.

"I need him home, we all need him home,” Wines said. “It's eating me up inside."

The Maine Marine Patrol says there were life jackets on the boat, but don't believe Stephen or his brother were wearing them at the time.

Searchers say they expected to be out until dark Monday night and resume again Tuesday.

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