Coast Guard responds to boat sinking in Sheepscot River, Maine

BOSTON – A Station Boothbay Harbor 25-foot response boat crew responded to where a 15-foot boat sank in the Sheepscot River about five miles from Boothbay Harbor Tuesday at 1:10 p.m.

A Good Samaritan boat in the area rescued the sunken boat’s lone operator and dropped him off at a nearby dock, where he was picked up and brought home. He did not suffer any serious injuries.

The rescued man was hauling in a recreational lobster pot which became stuck on the bottom and small waves began to swamp the boat until it sank in about 40 feet of water. Before the boat sank, the man grabbed his wallet and a six-gallon portable gas tank before transferring to the Good Samaritan vessel.

The Good Samaritan vessel after rescuing the man called Station Boothbay via radio at 12:35 p.m. to report the incident. The four-person Coast Guard boat crew launched at 12:45 p.m., and after arriving on scene noticed the rescued man standing on the nearby dock where he was dropped off.

The Coast Guard crew interviewed the man to make sure he was ok. They then were escorted back out to the scene of the sinking by the Good Samaritan vessel. It is believed a small, three gallon gas tank was onboard the boat when it sank. There were no signs of pollution nor any debris, but the Coast Guard boat communicated the situation to a pollution response petty officer at Sector Northern New England in Portland, Maine.

The sunken boat is not considered a hazard to other boaters who may travel in the area in the future.

On scene weather was 1-to-2-foot seas, 10 knot winds, and 8-to-10 miles visibility. The water was 59 degrees Fahrenheit.

“We are glad the man was rescued and is safe,” said Lt. Lisa Tinker with Sector Northern New England. “Even though the weather was fair, the boat was small and when the lobster pot became stuck, small waves slowly swamped the boat and caused it to sink. We encourage all boaters that go out alone in small craft to be very careful at all times.”

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