Coast Guard responds to helicopter crash in Maine

BOSTON – A Station Rockland, Maine 25-foot response boat responded to a helicopter crash Saturday, 5:35 p.m., near Little Deer Island in Penobscot Bay, Maine.

A nearby sailing vessel that saw the crash called Station Rockland at 4:50 p.m. to report the incident, and the station launched a boat crew at 4:56 p.m. The helicopter took off from the 182-foot motor yacht Lady Christine, which was anchored in the area.

Four people were aboard the helicopter and none of them suffered life-threatening injuries. One person was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for neck pain, but the injury was not considered serious.

The Rockland response boat arrived on scene at 5:35 p.m. and while it was en route received a report that all four people aboard the helicopter got out safely after the crash and waded ashore to the island.

A small boat dispatched from the Lady Christine picked the four people up and brought them back to the luxury yacht. One passanger was then taken back ashore to be treated for the neck injury.

The Rockland Coast Guard small boat at 6:55 p.m. tied up to the crashed helicopter and towed it to shore on the island, where a marine salvage company will attempt to remove it.

Two pollution response petty officers from Coast Guard Sector Northern New England in Portland, Maine, drove to the island, which is about 20 miles from Station Rockland and is connected to the mainland by a bridge.

About 30 gallons of helicopter fuel are estimated to have leaked from the aircraft.

A Maine Marine Patrol vessel assisted the Coast Guard during this incident.

The Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection will investigate the pollution that occurred, and the cause of the crash will be investigated.

“Station Rockland launched right away after getting the report of the crash,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Joe Tallent of Sector Northern New England. “We were glad to hear all the people got out safely. Right now we want to contain any pollution that may exist from the crash and coordinate with the salvage company to remove the helicopter from the shore of the island.”

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