Filmmaker drowns while shooting video for US Senate candidate

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

Jesse Hubbell, 40, and wannabe lawmaker John Mues were scuba diving in at least 60-foot-deep water in Canyon Ferry Lake on Monday when Hubbell went under.

Mues tried to help, to no avail.

The men were filming a video for Mues, a Navy veteran with diving experience who is mulling a run against Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines in next year’s election.

Two other members of the film crew and Mues’ wife were in a nearby boat, said Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Capt. Kevin Wright.

Divers searched for Hubbell’s body for two days before finding it 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 sheriff said possibilities include an equipment malfunction and hypothermia.

Investigators were awaiting toxicology reports.

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

Water that cold can lower a person’s body temperature and risk hypothermia — but both men were wearing wetsuits and had only been in the water for 10 minutes when the accident happened.

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

A former co-worker, Dan Casey, said Hubbell was a solid cameraman with a great sense of humor.

“He was an asset in any crew,” Casey said. “If Jesse was on the crew, you knew you were going to have a good day.”

Mues, who was treated at the hospital for his own injuries, did not return messages.

His campaign website was taken down following Monday’s accident.

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