Pen Bay Medical Center doctor on board succumbed to injuries

UPDATE: Mast breaks on schooner ‘Grace Bailey’ while under sail, one dead

Mon, 10/09/2023 - 1:00pm

    The mast on the Grace Bailey schooner broke while just beyond Rockland Harbor after 10 a.m., today, Oct. 9, resulting in one death of a female and several injured.

    The woman who was killed has been identified as Emily Mecklenburg, a physician at Pen Bay Medical Center, in Rockport. The cause of her death has yet to be determined, according to Maine’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner.

    Three patients were transported from the U.S. Coast Guard pier, with two taken to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport, and one to an awaiting LifeFlight helicopter.

    “Unfortunately one additional patient had succumbed to their injuries and the City of Rockland extends our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the victim,” said Rockland Fire Chief Chris Whytock, in a news release.

    A mast on the sailboat had snapped and Knox Regional Communications Center, which took the distress call from the Coast Guard, had reports of multiple people injured, said Whytock.

    Rockland Fire and EMS were transported out with the USCG and rendered care to the injured and coordinated medical care once on the mainland. 

    The Coast Guard said later in the day that four of the 33 people aboard the schooner were injured, approximately one mile east of Rockland Harbor.

    Crew aboard the Grace Bailey contacted the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England command center around 10 a.m. requesting assistance after their mast reportedly broke and fell onto the deck causing head and back injuries to four people. 

    Coast Guard watchstanders dispatched a Coast Guard Station Rockland 47-foot Motor Lifeboat (MLB) crew to assist. 

    The MLB crew arrived on scene and transferred a woman from the Grace Bailey to Rockland Harbor where she was transferred to awaiting EMS and pronounced deceased. 

    The MLB crew returned to the Grace Bailey with two EMS personnel to retrieve the three remaining injured people. The three people were transferred to EMS at Rockland Harbor and taken to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport. 

    “In this time of sorrow, we offer our deepest condolences to the grieving family, and our most heartfelt wishes for a swift recovery to those harmed,” said said Capt. Amy Florentino, the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England commander, in the release. “Our investigation aims to identify causative factors that led to this tragic incident.”

    Charlie’s Marine Services commercial salvage personnel responded and towed the Grace Bailey to Rockport Harbor. 

    The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.

    The Grace Bailey, once known on Penobscot Bay at The Mattie, was built in Patchogue, New York, 1882 by Oliver Perry Smith at his boatyard on the Patchogue River, in Patchogue, New York.

    The schooner is 118 feet in length, and is a member of windjammer fleet, with a homeport of Rockland.