Coast Guard rescues four off Eastport



COAST GUARD PHOTO

ELLSWORTH – The 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 swum to shore.

The information was relayed to the Coast Guard Station in Eastport. Watchstanders there immediately launched a 29-foot response boat and crew to help.

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

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

The Coast Guard crew pulled the four people aboard the response boat and took them to shore at the basin inside the Eastport Breakwater where they transferred their care to Downeast Emergency Medical Services personnel. Another boater towed the capsized skiff to the Federal Marine Terminal in Eastport.

“The people we rescued today are fortunate that a person observed them capsizing and called for help,” Petty Officer 1st Class Nathan Holt, the executive petty officer of Station Eastport, said Tuesday afternoon.

“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.”