Coast Guard responds to schooner grounding near Portland

1st Coast Guard District News
PORTLAND, Maine – U.S. Coast Guard crews responded to a grounded commercial schooner near Fort Gorges in Casco Bay, Maineon Saturday.

Coast Guard Sector Northern New England watchstanders received a report that the 59-foot inspected passenger schooner “Wendameen” ran aground at approximately 5:40 p.m.

The vessel was carrying 23 passengers and four crew members when it ran aground. A 47-foot motor lifeboat, from Coast Guard Station Portland, responded to the scene.

All passengers were taken from the schooner and loaded onto the Portland fire boat, due to its passenger capabilities, and taken to State Pier. The schooners crew remained on board to aid the vessel. There are no reported injuries.

The schooner is stable and crews will try to refloat the vessel at high tide.

Other agencies involved were Portland Pilots, good samaritans, Portland Harbor Master and Sea Tow.

“The coordinated nature of this multi-agency rescue operation really reinforced the strong partnerships the Coast Guard has with local first responders,” said Capt. James McPherson, the commander of Sector Northern New England. “We are grateful all passengers were able to be safely transferred to shore and that the situation was stabilized very quickly due to rescuers arriving on scene within minutes. Our focus now shifts to monitoring the vessel to ensure the crew remains safe as they attempt to refloat it with the tide, to continue to monitor any pollution threats to the environment and to conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the grounding.”

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