WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Chellie Pingree issued the following statement July 6 on the death of Kevin Waters, Owner of Penobscot Island Air:
“The passing of Kevin Waters, the beloved owner of Penobscot Island Air (PIA), has hit everyone on the islands and in places far beyond like a gut punch. Kevin is as close to a saint as people living on earth can approach and we all will feel his loss deeply.
“Kevin has been managing a complex transportation service – often on a shoestring and with plenty of personal sacrifice. He rarely said no to anything anyone needed – from getting a critical part for a fishing boat engine to the island quickly, to making an emergency trip to the hospital in the middle of the night. He hired a staff of dedicated pilots, kept all the planes running, managed the bureaucratic rules and regulations of the FAA, and navigated sometimes difficult local politics to the great benefit of our communities.
“I have flown more times with Kevin and PIA pilots than I could possibly count – and always knew passenger safety was his number one concern. He would never hesitate to tell you if the ride was going to be bumpy, or if it would be pushing it too much to travel with the wind picking up or the fog coming in. We had a lot of conversations, too. He always started with a sweet and friendly word, often coupled with real concern about how ‘you were holding up.’ We talked a lot about the successes and challenges of his unique business. It wasn’t unusual to be speaking with Kevin about a sticky issue and see his eyes well up and hear his voice crack – his passion and love for his business and the customers he served was so deep.
“Now I am the one who feels choked up with tears in my eyes and I know I will be joined by many, many others. Thank you Kevin. We’ll miss you and we’re so grateful for everything you have done for all of us. My deepest sympathy to the Waters family and the PIA family.”