Portsmouth, ME – Coast Guard rescue crews recovered seven stranded kayakers from Burnt Porcupine Island, Maine, Sunday.
The seven were on a guided tour when high afternoon winds, ranging from 15 to 25 miles per hour, prevented them from returning. Rather than risk it, they located the nearest island, made landfall, and awaited recovery.
With no local assets available, Bar Harbor Fire Department contacted Coast Guard Sector Northern New England in Portsmouth at 12:15 p.m. There, Coast Guard watchstanders diverted a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Southwest Harbor, already underway from another case.
The boat crew arrived at the island, steadied up on the leeward side, and brought the seven people and their kayaks aboard at 2:15 p.m. Roughly ten minutes later, they were all safely at the pier in Bar Harbor.
There were no injuries reported.
“These folks did the right thing,” said Chief Petty Officer David Lebrecht, command duty officer at the Sector Northern New England command center.
He said the wind was calm in the morning, but increased as the air temperature warmed in the afternoon, which is typical for the area.
“When the weather changed, they were smart to call it quits and call for help, instead of pushing on against the elements,” he said.