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Young man loses prosthetic leg while tubing in Maine lake

August 18, 2021 GMT

ST. ALBANS, Maine (AP) — Volunteer divers are trying to help a 19-year-old find a prosthetic leg that he lost while tubing on a Maine pond.

“We hit a bump and I felt my leg loosening up, and I just got this feeling, uh-oh,” Charlie Smith, of New Hampshire, told News Center Maine.

He tumbled into the water at Big Indian Pond in Somerset County, and the leg came off. It quickly sank in the murky water.

“We took to the Facebook St. Albans group and just said, ‘Is there anybody out there that wants to go scuba diving for a leg?’” said Charlie’s mother.

Since making the post on Friday, Aug. 13, two off-duty Maine state troopers volunteered to look for Charlie’s prosthetic leg. Others also made offers to help.

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The Smiths estimate the prosthesis cost $40,000.

Right now, Charlie is using an older prosthetic leg that he’s outgrown, and the Smiths have started the process of getting a new one.

Charlie said it’s been difficult to lose some of his mobility, but he’s heartened by all of the offers of assistance. “It was really shocking because no one expected that much help to be offered,” he said.