Coast Guard investigates Penobscot Bay yacht-rock crash
PENOBSCOT BAY — The 70-foot sailing yacht Archangel, a charter boat with a homeport of Newport, R.I., hit East Goose Rock in the early afternoon, Aug. 7, went aground, dismasted and rolled onto its side. On Aug. 8, few involved with its rescue and salvage were talking about the recovery, given its status as a marine casualty.
The fiberglass boat was built two years ago, and valued at $2.4 million.
No one was seriously injured in the collision with the rock, according to U.S. Coast Guard Station Northern New England Chief Matthew Couling and the boat was stabilized by a crew from Wayfarer Marine, who were among the first on the scene. Crews from Coast Guard Station Rockland also assisted.
As of late Wednesday night, a crew from Prock Marine was at the boat, waiting for the return of high tide to float the boat off the rocks and haul it to shore. While the Coast Guard identified the grounding at Goose Rocks, some more familiar with the waters there said the boat went aground on Appledore Ledge, which is close by the rocks.
The eight onboard the boat were transported to Camden, said Couling.
The Archangel hit the rocks between 1 and 2 p.m., while under full sail, said witnesses who were out on the water. The force of the crash caused the mast to fall. Sailors on the water estimated the boat was traveling at six or seven knots. The boat was apparently on a course for North Haven.
High tide was close to noon and the wind was out of the south-southeast, at approximately 10 knots.
Lasell Island lies at the southern end of Islesboro in Penobscot Bay. Sailors say at high tide, the rocks have approximately four feet of water above them. The Archangel, others sailors said, hit the rocks soon after 1 p.m. The Archangel, it is estimated, draws seven feet, six inches.
On Aug. 8, the Coast Guard said the crash is considered a marine casualty and is therefore under investigation. Officers with the Coast Guard station in Belfast are now interviewing the captain and passengers. Parties involved with the rescue and salvage of the boat are declining to comment on the situation, given its investigatory status.
The boat has been hauled to Wayfarer Marine in Camden.
The Archangel was built in 2011 and was valued then at $2.4 million, and is a Hylas 70, designed by yacht designer German Frers.
A marine casualty is, according to the Coast Guard:
(a) Any casualty or accident involving any vessel other than a public vessel that (1) Occurs upon the navigable waters of the United States, its territories or possessions;
(2) Involves any United States vessel wherever such casualty or accident occurs; or (3) With respect to a foreign tank vessel opera ting in waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, including the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), involves significant harm to the environment or material damage affecting the seaworthiness or efficiency of the vessel.
(b) The term ''marine casualty or accident'' applies to events caused by or involving a vessel and includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(1) Any fall overboard, injury, or loss of life of any person.
(2) Any occurrence involving a vessel that results in (i) Grounding; (ii) Stranding; (iii) Foundering; (iv) Flooding; (v) Collision; (vi) Allision; (vii) Explosion; (viii) Fire; (ix) Reduction or loss of a vessel's electrical power, propulsion, or steering capabilities; (x) Failures or occurrences, regardless of cause, which impair any aspect of a vessel's operation, components, or cargo; (xi) Any other circumstance that might aff ect or impair a vessel's seaworthiness, efficiency, or fitness for service or route; or (xii) Any incident involving signifi cant harm to the environment.
(3) Any occurrences of injury or loss of life to any person while diving from a vessel and using underwater breathing apparatus.
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