Sergeant Geoffrey Pushee
September 14, 2020
Concord, NH – On Saturday, September 12, 2020, NH Fish and Game Conservation Officers received a request from the Auburn Police Department to assist in a search for a missing fishermen. Conservation Officers learned that Joseph Moreau, an 83-year-old from Methuen, Massachusetts, had been reported missing around 8:30 p.m. on September 11 by his wife, after he failed to return home. Mrs. Moreau told Auburn Police that her husband had planned to go fishing on Lake Massabesic for the day. Auburn Police quickly checked boat launches around Lake Massabesic and found Moreau’s car parked at the Claire’s Landing boat launch. After finding Moreau’s car, Auburn Police, Auburn Fire, Manchester Water Works, Marine Patrol, and NH State Police searched the lake and found Moreau’s unoccupied canoe floating in the lake. Search crews worked throughout the night but were unable to locate Moreau.
After receiving the call on Saturday morning, NH Fish and Game Conservation Officers responded to the scene of the incident. Conservations Officers were able to deploy their Dive Team and Side-Scan Sonar Team to search for Moreau. Conservations Officers searched the water until dark on Saturday without finding Moreau.
On Sunday, September 13, crews returned to the lake to continue the search. At approximately 12:15 p.m., Moreau was located by the Fish and Game Side-Scan Sonar Team in about 15 feet of water and about 1,100 feet from where his canoe was found. NH Fish and Game Divers were then utilized to recover Moreau from the lake.
New Hampshire Fish and Game was assisted in the search by Auburn Police and Fire Departments, Hooksett Fire Department, Manchester Water Works, and Marine Patrol.
The cause of the accident is under investigation, but there were no personal flotation devices (PFDs) aboard the canoe, and Moreau was not wearing a PFD. New Hampshire Fish and Game and Marine Patrol would like to remind all boaters that state law requires each boater to have a wearable life jacket with them when recreating on New Hampshire’s waterbodies. In addition, children ages 12 years old and younger must wear a life jacket at all times.