Maine ferry strikes unmanned skiff, Coast Guard investigates

BOSTON- The Coast Guard responded today to a report of a Southwest Harbor ferry which struck an empty skiff in Southwest Harbor at 1:22 p.m.

No passengers were aboard the ferry Island Queen at the time and there were no reports of injuries to the crew. No damage to the ferry or pollution was reported.

A 25-foot boat crew from Coast Guard Station Southwest Harbor was on a routine patrol in the area when they received a report that the 42-foot passenger vessel had hit a skiff attached to a mooring ball in the harbor.

The crew diverted to the scene, recovered the 12-foot skiff, which had significant damage to the bow, and notified the owner.

The Island Queen was later moored at the town pier in Southwest Harbor.

“The bow of the skiff was pretty chopped up when we found it half-swamped in the harbor,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Taylor Sweeney, a member of the responding boat crew. “There was a registration number on what was left of the bow which helped us find the boat’s owner.”

At the scene, winds were gusting up to 30 miles per hour with seas around four feet.

The Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment in Belfast, Maine, is sending investigators to inspect the ferry and determine the cause of the incident.

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