Film producer drowns while shooting video for US Senate candidate

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A Massachusetts filmmaker drowned in a Montana lake on Monday while shooting a video for a prospective US Senate candidate, authorities said Thursday.

The body of 40-year-old Jesse Hubbell was recovered Wednesday from Canyon Ferry Lake, two days after he went missing while filming a video for John Mues, a Navy veteran who is considering a run against Republican Sen. Steve Daines in 2020.

40-year-old Jesse Hubbell and wannabe senator John Mues were scuba diving in at least 60-foot-deep water in Canyon Ferry Lake on Monday when the filmmaker went under in a lake east of Helena, Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton said.

The prospective candidate, John Mues reportedly tried to help but didn’t succeed.

The men were filming a video for Mues, a Navy veteran with diving experience who is preparing to run against Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines in 2020 election.

Sheriff’s Capt. Kevin Wright said the Hubbell and Mues were in water at least 60 feet (15 meters) deep, while two other members of the film crew and Mues’ wife were in a nearby boat.

In this Monday, June 17, 2019 photo, emergency responders stage at the Yacht Basin marina east of Helena, Mont., as search and rescue teams search for a missing diver near Cemetery Island on Canyon Ferry Lake. Searchers have found the body of a scuba diver on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, who has been missing since Monday. (Thom Bridge/Independent Record via AP) Photo: THOM BRIDGE, AP / Thom Bridge, Independent Record

Divers searched Canyon Ferry Lake for two days before finding Hubbell’s body Wednesday.

“We have ruled it as an accident, and the cause was drowning,” said Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton. “We’re still looking into what were the causal factors.”

The possibilities include an equipment malfunction and hypothermia. Investigators were awaiting toxicology reports. Investigators were awaiting toxicology reports, he added.

A spokesman for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Greg Lemon, said the water in Canyon Ferry Lake is between 60 and 64 degrees.

Hubbell, a freelance producer for 17 years from the Boston area, had some diving experience, but authorities didn’t know how much.

The senator wannabe’s campaign website was taken down following Monday’s accident.

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