Body of missing Portland kayaker, 14, found in Falmouth

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FALMOUTH — The body of a teenage kayaker was discovered Friday morning in the Presumpscot River.

Mohammed Al-Ammar, 14, of Portland, was on the river with another boy Thursday evening when their two-person kayak overturned, according to police.

Al-Ammar, a Deering High School student whose family recently immigrated from Iraq, was not wearing a life jacket, while the other boy was wearing one.

Lt. John Kilbride said police received an emergency call around 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

The Maine Marine Patrol organized a search for Al-Ammar, but it was called off around 11 p.m. because it was “too dark and too dangerous” to continue searching, Kilbride said.

Police and Marine Patrol officers returned to the scene at approximately 4:30 a.m. Friday. The Allen Avenue Bridge was closed to traffic while the search was conducted.

Sgt. Thomas Hale of the Maine Marine Patrol said a remotely operated vehicle was used to search beneath the Allen Avenue Bridge; Al-Ammar’s body was found at 9:20 a.m. and recovered by divers.

Officials said the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine the official cause of Al-Ammar’s death.

Jeanne Crocker, interim superintendent of schools in Portland, issued a statement Friday morning after Al-Ammar’s body was found:

“Our hearts go out to Mohammed’s family and friends and the entire Deering High School community. The school is the process of offering counseling support to Deering students and staff who need it.”

Colin Ellis can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @colinoellis.

The body of 14-year-old Mohammed Al-Ammar of Portland was discovered in the Presumpscot River Friday morning by the Maine Marine Patrol, Falmouth police and other law enforcement agents. Al-Ammar apparently fell from a kayak Thursday night and was not wearing a life jacket.

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Reporter covering the Portland Public School District as well as the town of Falmouth for The Forecaster. Can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net.