No sign of missing men at Maine lake

By Taylor Miles and Christopher J. Girard
Globe Correspondents / July 24, 2011

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Authorities in Maine are searching for two Boston men who went missing Friday afternoon while swimming in a lake.

Hoang Vo, 26, and Phil Le, 30, went swimming off a boat in Lower Richardson Lake, north of the town of Andover, according to a statement released yesterday by Edie Smith, spokeswoman for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Officials received the call about the missing swimmers about 3:40 p.m. Friday.

Three warden boats and nine members of the Maine Warden Service dive team searched the area, according to the statement.

A separate team has also been combing the shoreline, and a plane is expected to join the search.

The Maine Warden Service suspended the search about 5 p.m. yesterday and was set to resume the effort this morning with sonar equipment.

The dive team was searching water that was about 30 to 40 feet deep with temperatures averaging 63 degrees, officials said.

“The Warden Service continues to investigate the details of the incident,’’ Smith said. “It has been determined that all four males in the boat had been drinking on Friday afternoon.’’

According to the statement, lake conditions on Friday afternoon were described as choppy, with swells and whitecaps.

The men, who had been camping with a large group from the Boston area, rented the 14-foot boat from an area campground, Smith said.

The Warden Service staging area is at the lake’s public boat launch, according to the statement.

Taylor Miles can be reached at Christopher J. Girard can be reached at