Tragedy struck in Rockland Harbor, Maine, as one person lost their life, and three others sustained injuries when the mast of a schooner, the Grace Bailey, broke and collapsed onto the vessel’s deck.
The incident unfolded on a Monday morning around 10 a.m. when the New England Command Center received a distress call from the schooner, which had 33 people on board. The call reported that the mast had broken, resulting in head and back injuries for four individuals, according to a statement issued by the United States Coast Guard.
In response to the emergency, Coast Guard watchstanders promptly dispatched a 47-foot motor lifeboat (MLB) from Coast Guard Station Rockland to the scene.
Upon arrival, the MLB crew initiated rescue operations, starting with the transfer of a woman from the Grace Bailey to Rockland Harbor. Tragically, despite their efforts, the woman was pronounced deceased upon arrival at the harbor.
The MLB crew then returned to the Grace Bailey, accompanied by two EMS personnel, to assist the remaining three injured individuals. These injured parties were subsequently handed over to EMS teams at Rockland Harbor and transported to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport, although the current status of their medical conditions remains undisclosed.
Capt. Amy Florentino, the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England commander, expressed condolences to the grieving family and wished for a swift recovery for the injured. She also stressed the Coast Guard’s commitment to conducting an investigation aimed at uncovering the factors that led to this tragic incident.
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In the aftermath of the accident, commercial salvage personnel responded promptly, towing the Grace Bailey to Rockport Harbor, where authorities will continue their investigation into the demasting of the schooner.