Rockport fire and police respond to two crashes, distressed sailors, cigarette fire

Posted:  Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 12:45pm

ROCKPORT — Volunteer firefighters and police officers in Rockport had a busy June 13, as they responded to a series of incidents.

The day started with a report of a power pole snapped in two by a car that had plowed into it, followed by a small mulch fire, a late afternoon boat rescue, and ending in the evening with a Route 90 crash.

Just after 8 a.m., firefighters responded to Union Street between Grove Street and Simmonds Road where a car operated by Field Leonard, 20, of Rockland, had crashed into a Central Maine Power pole, snapping it in half and sending wires to the roadway.

Firefighters shut the road to traffic for two hours while Leonard was helped from his vehicle by a good samaritan, and a crew from Central Maine Power restored the downed wires.

According to the police report, Leonard had been driving south on Union Street when he looked away from the road to his cell phone, then looked up just before striking the utility pole.

Police issued him a summons for distracted driving.


At noon, the fire department responded to the Pen Bay Medical Center campus where a cigarette had been tossed into a garden lined with bark mulch, resulting in a smoke.

Firefighters raked and watered the mulch clear of embers.


At 3:30 p.m., Rockland, Rockport and Thomaston firefighters, police and North East Mobile Health ambulances were called to Lakeview Drive, along the Rockland shoreside of Chickawaukie Lake, to assist with rescuing two sailors and a dog after their Hobie Cat catamaran capsized under gusty winds.

According to Rockport Deputy Fire Chief Philbrook, the boat was on the other side of the lake, closer to the Rockport side.

He had heard the call just as he was leaving work so he contacted Rockland Fire Chief Chris Whytock to see if he needed a boat. Whytock answered in the affirmative, so Philbrook went home, which is nearby (he fishes every evening on Chickawaukie), got his 19-foot bass fishing boat, already on the trailer, and proceeded to the beach.

Both Philbrook and Rockland firefighter Carl Anderson motored to the sailboat, where they found one female in the water, wearing a life jacket, and clinging to the boat. A male sailor, not wearing a life jacket, was standing on the turtled catamaran. The dog, a Black lab mix, was standing beside him.

“As soon as we got close, the dog swam to us,” said Philbrook. “I grabbed his collar and pulled him into the boat.”

The firefighters then assisted the sailors into the boat and took them back to shore where they were medically evaluated. The two declined transport to the hospital and stayed to get help and haul their boat to the boat ramp.

The wind had been blowing hard all afternoon, and the water was approximately 65 degrees F., said Philbrook.


Then, at 6:20 p.m., Rockport firefighters and police were again called to a crash, this one on Route 90, just before the entrance to the Marge Jones Recreation Field.

According to the police report, Beverly Chase, of Augusta, had been driving her 2012 Chevy Malibu west on Route 90 when she reached for her GPS, and subsequently lost control of her car, veered off the highway and down into a deep grassy ditch.

Her car eventually came to rest against the recreational field driveway embankment.

She was transported via North East Mobile Health Services to Pen Bay Medical Center.


Reach Editorial Director Lynda Clancy at; 207-706-6657