Maryland woman dies after canoe capsizes

BETHEL — A woman drowned Wednesday evening after the canoe she and her family had rented overturned in the Androscoggin River.

Xiaolian Ding, age 75, of Silver Spring, Maryland drowned after becoming trapped under the canoe at about 5:30 p.m., according to a written statement from Mark Latti, spokesman for the Maine Warden Service.

Ding, her husband Nimin Wang, age 82 , and her daughter, Qiong Wang, age 49, all of Silver Spring, had rented the canoe and had just started their trip downriver when the canoe they were paddling became stuck on a rock, according to Latti.

Nimin Wang was paddling in the stern of the canoe with Qiong Wang paddling in the bow with Xiaolian sitting in the middle when the canoe became wedged on a rock. Nimin and Qiong tried to push the canoe off the rock, and as they did the canoe overturned, with Nimin and Qiong thrown from the canoe and Xiaolian trapped underneath as it floated downriver.

The accident happened in a stretch of the river off North and Hemlock Ridge roads.

According to Latti, the father and daughter were able to get the canoe and Xiaolian to shore as a witness on the opposite shore called 911. Xiaolian was unresponsive once on shore, and efforts by Nimin and Quiong to revive Xiaolian were unsuccessful, as were later efforts by Bethel Rescue emergency personnel.

The Maine Warden Service, Bethel Ambulance and Rescue Services, Bethel Fire Department and the Oxford Sheriff’s office all responded and assisted with the drowning.

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