Two Maine hikers were rescued, then drowned, when they called for a second rescue attempt at Roque Bluffs State Park on Tuesday.
In a mysterious turn of events, 37-year-old Amy Stiner of Maine and her friend 38-year-old Melissa Moyer of Pennsylvania ended up calling for rescue twice on Tuesday — but help only came in time once.
Adding to the tragedy, Stiner was reportedly five months pregnant at the time of her death.
According to the Boston Herald, the two women and a dog had been hiking in wet, foggy weather in the state park when they got lost. They called for help and got assistance first from a local resident and then from a park warden who took them back to their vehicle.
However, instead of driving back to Stiner’s home in nearby Machias, Stiner and Moyer went off the boat ramp into the ocean. Someone called 911, allowing the Maine first responders to use GPS coordinates to find the vehicle in the water.
But the two Maine hikers, along with the dog, were already dead.
The Press Herald said that the two drowned women were found trapped in the back seat of the van, which went down in 20 feet of water.
Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith said that toxicology tests will be performed. However, right now he believes that the drowning deaths were simply a tragic accident:
“The end of the road becomes the boat landing and they just weren’t familiar with it…It was foggy and rainy and they literally drove off the boat landing right into the water.
“It’s just so easy to do. When I got the call last night, I knew what had happened.”
In a chilling note, Smith implied that the women were likely drowning even as they called for help:
“They said they were in the water and the car was filling with the water. And then the phone just went dead” before police could locate the Maine hikers.
Here is an artist’s animation that tries to reconstruct the Maine hiker tragedy: