Coast Guard crews receive award for Acadia National Park rescues

SOUTHWEST HARBOR, Maine- The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, Adm. Thad Allen, and Sen. Susan Collins will be in Southwest Harbor, Maine, Friday, Nov. 13, to recognize the Coast Guard crews that rescued two people who were swept off the rocks into 20 foot waves at Acadia National Park in August.

On Aug. 23, spectators near Thunder Hole in Acadia National Park were viewing waves being driven ashore by Hurricane Bill. A rogue wave knocked dozens of people to the ground, many suffering injuries. Seven people were swept off the ledge into the ocean. Four of those people were able to swim to safety but a man and two children were carried out into the surf.

A Coast Guard 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew was training several miles away and responded. A rescue controller from Sector Northern New England’s Command Center coordinated the boat crew’s efforts and Coast Guard jet and helicopter crews from Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., later joined the search.

Through the coordinated effort, Peter Axilrod, 56, of New York, N.Y. and Simone Pelletier, 12, of Belfast, Maine, were rescued after about an hour in the surf. Seven-year-old Clio Axilrod, who had no vital signs when she was recovered, could not be revived despite the efforts of the rescue crew and a medical team at a nearby hospital.

The Coast Guard wishes to acknowledge and thank the Maine Marine Patrol and the National Park Service for their contributions to the rescue, as well as the many private citizens that came to the aid of those injured and swept into the water on Aug. 23.

“We offer our sincerest condolences to the Axilrod family for their loss,” said Capt. James McPherson, commander of Sector Northern New England. “It always hurts as a professional rescuer when there is a fatality.”

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