HELENA, Mont. – A Massachusetts film producer accidentally drowned this week while filming for a potential US Senate candidate in a Montana lake, the authorities said Thursday.
Possible candidate John Mues tried to help the 40-year-old Jesse Hubbell before Hubbell went down in a lake east of Helena on Monday, said Leo Dutton, Sheriff of Lewis and Clark County.
The men shot a video for Mues, a veteran of the Navy with diving experience, who is considering competing against the Republican US Senator. Steve Daines in the elections next year.
Two other members of the film crew and Mues' wife were in a nearby boat, as sheriff Captain Kevin Wright said.
Divers searched Canyon Ferry Lake for two days before Hubbell's body was found on Wednesday. "We are still investigating the causative factors."
Possible causes include device malfunction and hypothermia. The investigators waited for toxicological reports, the sheriff said.
The water in Canyon Ferry Lake is between 60 and 70% Greg Lemon, spokesman for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, said: 64 degrees (1
Water that is cold can lower one person's body temperature and risk of hypothermia, but both men were wearing wetsuits and had been in the water for about 10 minutes when the accident happened, Wright said.
Hubbell had some diving experience, but the authorities did not know how much.
For 17 years, Hubbell was a freelance producer from the Boston area who worked on movies, documentaries, and films on political and business content, according to his LinkedIn profile.
A former associate, Dan Casey, said Hubbell specializes in lighting, is a sound engineer and a good cameraman with a great sense of humor. Casey said he had become stunned by his death.
"He was a win for every crew," said Casey. "If Jesse were in the crew, you would know that you would have a good day."
A close friend and former colleague, Jimmy Jay Frieden of Boston Digital Productions, said Hubbell was recently married and had done much work on political videos lately.
Peace did not know what kind of diving experience Hubbell had and called him adventurous, but very safety conscious.
"There's no one I know who knows more, what's going on the set, who has always had his back, and was super smart," said Peace.
Mues did not respond to a phone call, e-mail or comment.
He had to be hospitalized on Monday after trying to help Hubbell, but Wright did it I do not know the nature of Mues' injuries and he was released the same day.
Mues has not filed to run against Daines, but he had a campaign website that was shut down after the accident on Monday. On the website, he was described as a fourth-generation Montana resident, a marine veteran, an engineer, and a teacher.
Previously, he had told the political publication The Hill in Washington, DC, that he wanted to announce his candidacy for the Senate soon. It is not immediately clear how the accident affects his plans.