Falling mast kills one, injures three on Maine schooner

(ROCKLAND, Maine) — The U.S. Coast Guard responded Monday to a schooner that was reportedly demasted, injuring four of the 33 people aboard approximately a mile east of Rockland Harbor. One of those injured later died.

Personnel aboard Grace Bailey, a 118-foot schooner, contacted the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England command center around 10 a.m. requesting assistance after their mast reportedly broke and fell onto the deck, causing head and back injuries to four people.

An image posted on the Sail Grace Bailey Facebook page shows the schooner underway earlier this year off the coast of Maine.

Coast Guard watch standers dispatched a Coast Guard Station Rockland 47-foot motor lifeboat (MLB) crew to assist. The crew arrived on scene and transferred a woman from Grace Bailey to Rockland Harbor, where she was transferred to awaiting emergency medical services (EMS) and pronounced deceased.

The MLB crew returned to Grace Bailey with two EMS personnel to retrieve the three remaining injured people. The three people were transferred to EMS at Rockland Harbor and taken to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport.

The Portland Press Herald reported that the schooner, built in 1882, was returning from a four-night foliage cruise when the incident occurred.

“In this time of sorrow, we offer our deepest condolences to the grieving family, and our most heartfelt wishes for a swift recovery to those harmed,” said Capt. Amy Florentino, the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England commander. “Our investigation aims to identify causative factors that led to this tragic incident.”

Charlie’s Marine Services commercial salvage personnel responded and towed Grace Bailey to Rockport Harbor.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Professional Mariner Staff