A California man died after an apparent heart attack on Saturday while canoeing on the Nemasket River in Middleboro.
The victim, 65-year-old Paul Costa of San Diego, was on the water with friends from Norton.
Fire Capt. Glenn A. MacNayr told WATD the rescue operation took over an hour because of a steep 50-foot embankment and thick underbrush.
When emergency crews arrived the canoeists were giving Costa CPR, but MacNayr said the victim didn’t have a pulse.
CPR continued as Costa was loaded into a rescue basket and hauled up the embankment, but he was pronounced dead at Tobey Hospital in Wareham.
Once the rescue operation was completed all personnel went through decontamination in an attempt to limit their exposure to poison ivy, MacNayr said.