From Down East

Five rescued from capsized skiff near Eastport

Posted:  Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - 6:15pm

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued four people Tuesday after a 14-foot skiff capsized in Deep Cove near Eastport, sending five people into the 39-degree water. 

A good Samaritan called 911 at about 2 p.m. to report the capsize, and said four people were in the water in need of rescue and a fifth had swam to shore. 

The information was relayed to the watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Eastport who immediately launched a 29-foot response boat crew to help.

A 45-foot response boat crew from Station Eastport was already underway and diverted to the area to assist. 

Crewmembers aboard the 45-foot response boat quickly arrived on scene and found one man on top of the overturned skiff, and two men and one woman holding onto it in the water. 

The Coast Guard members pulled the four people aboard the response boat and took them to shore where they transferred their care to Downeast Emergency Medical Services personnel.

“The people we rescued today are fortunate that a person observed them capsizing and called for help,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Nathan Holt, the executive petty officer of Station Eastport, in a news release. “Because we already had a boat crew training nearby, our response time was significantly decreased. None of the people in the cold water were wearing life jackets or dry suits, so getting them out of the water quickly was critical. We very strongly recommend mariners wear weather-appropriate protective gear when boating in cold weather, as hypothermia can occur in minutes."

Another boater towed the capsized skiff to the Federal Marine Terminal in Eastport.