Coast Guard apprehends intoxicated man in Portland harbor

BOSTON – A Station South Portland, Maine, 25-foot response boat crew apprehended a man who appeared to be intoxicated after he fell into Portland harbor from a Sea Tow boat docked at a floating pier at about 10:50 p.m. Monday.

Station South Portland watch standers overheard a Portland water taxi operator warn two ferry boats via radio approaching the State Pier not to continue because an allegedly inebriated man had just fell into the water. The State Pier is near the floating pier where the Sea Tow boat was docked.

The water taxi operator was moored at the floating pier and had a confrontation with the suspect because he was on the Sea tow boat without permission and broke a fitting on that boat.

The water taxi operator struggled with the suspect, who lost his balance and fell into the harbor. The man then stayed in the water, which was 63 degrees Fahrenheit.

The response boat launched at 11 p.m. and arrived on scene at 11:04 p.m., when they quickly noticed the man swimming near the pilings to the State Pier.

After about a ten minute struggle, the four-person response boat crew managed to get the man, who was estimated to be about 250 – 260 pounds., into the Coast Guard boat where he was restrained with handcuffs.

The Coast Guard boat transited to the Portland, Maine Fire Boat Dock, where he was transferred into the custody of the Portland Police Dept.

“As we overheard the radio transmissions about this, we knew we should get underway quickly to help find this man, who appeared to be a danger to others and himself,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Stuart, who was the coxswain on the South Portland boat that responded. “It took three of us to get him on board, and we managed to settle him down and get him into the custody of the Police. We are glad he did not get seriously hurt, and that everyone else involved with the case was not seriously hurt either. We would like to thank the Portland Police Dept. and the water taxi operator for helping us out on this case.”

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