Scituate man, 23, drowns in Aaron River Reservoir in Cohasset when canoe capsizes

A 23-year-old Scituate man drowned after his canoe capsized while fishing with a friend in Cohasset’s Aaron River Reservoir, police said.

The victim, who was identified as Charles Haskell by the Norfolk district attorney’s office, was with a 20-year-old friend from Cohasset when the canoe capsized Thursday night. There were no personal flotation devices on board the canoe, Cohasset police said.

Haskell’s friend was able to swim to shore and asked a resident on Aaron River Road for help.

“I was sleeping and probably about 10:30 or 10:45 the doorbell started ringing,’’ said Jeffrey Flanagan, 31, who has lived on the road for two years. “They kept ringing it, so I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs.’’


Flanagan said the man at his door was soaking wet and apologized for waking him up. The man told Flanagan that he was fishing with his friend when their canoe tipped over.

“He said he didn’t know where his friend was,’’ Flanagan said. “He didn’t see him, didn’t hear him.’’

Flanagan grabbed his cellphone, called 911, and ran down to the water with the man.

“We couldn’t see anything. It was pretty dark,’’ he said.

Their calls to the man went unanswered.

“It was silent,’’ Flanagan said.

Cohasset police and firefighters showed up five to 10 minutes later and a State Police helicopter and a dive team from the Scituate Fire Department arrived a little while later, Flanagan said.

Rescuers searched for Haskell for three hours and found his body in 10 feet of water about 30 yards off shore, Cohasset police said.

Cohasset police and District Attorney Michael Morrissey’s office are investigating the apparent accident, police said.

Flanagan said the Cohasset man was clearly distraught because of the tragedy.

“He was definitely in shock,’’ Flanagan said. “I just feel bad for the family.’’

Flanagan often takes his dog for walks around the water and said the reservoir is a popular place for fishing.


“You’ll hear people out there at night. It’s not uncommon,’’ he said. “I’ve never heard of anybody drowning in this reservoir.’’