AT Hiker Drowns Attempting to Cross Kennebec River
The body of 39-year-old Michael Camiso was found Tuesday in Caratunk, Maine. Camiso went missing earlier in May, and it has been surmised that he drowned attempting to cross the Kennebec River in Maine.
Camiso had been hiking the Appalachian Trail since March of 2018, but it is unclear whether he was on a Northbound thru-hike, had flipped up to Maine, or was completing a section. Reports of his belongings were found along the trail on May 11, when he was reported missing. Camiso reportedly told law enforcement that he was planning to swim (or ford) the Kennebec, and was told to avoid such an attempt as the water was running high.
Camiso was a US Military veteran who incurred a brain injury during training, and suffered from depression and other effects of the accident since then. He found peace in nature and was on a restorative journey along the AT at the time of his passing
His family has set up a GoFundMe to bring his body back to his home in New Jersey. Remaining donations will be sent to The Soldiers Project, an organization helping veterans struggling with mental health issues.
The Kennebec has been known for decades as a hazardous obstacle on the Appalachian Trail. After a tragic drowning in 1986, the ATC and MATC funded a full-time ferry service with a $10 fee. In 1994, after seeing many hikers decide to risk the ford rather than pay, they decided to make the ferry free of charge to help discourage fording. All hikers in the area are highly encouraged to utilize this service. It is considered by the ATC an official part of the AT route.
Featured image via ATC / GoFundMe
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