GOULDSBORO, Maine — Two men have been arrested on charges of arson after they allegedly set fire Wednesday night to another man’s fishing boat in the village of Bunker’s Harbor, according to investigators.
Bradley Wilkinson, 38, of Winter Harbor and Avery Scott, 37, of Gouldsboro were sought by police after witnesses supposedly saw them swimming away from the lobster vessel 1st Run as it sat burning at its mooring at around 10 p.m. Wednesday, according to Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.
The Coast Guard initially was called to help search for the two men, but the search was called off after responders determined no one was in the water and police received reports the men had made it to shore, officials said. Wilkinson was arrested a short time later after Maine State Police found him walking, soaking wet, down a nearby road, according to McCausland. Scott turned himself in to local police Thursday and subsequently was treated at a nearby hospital for burns, he said.
A spokeswoman at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor said Thursday evening that Scott was being evaluated at the hospital.
The 25-foot boat, owned by Christopher Blanchette of Prospect Harbor, is considered a complete loss, according to McCausland.
“It burned to the waterline and sank,” he said. “There apparently is bad blood between the two men and the boat owner, but I don’t know what the source of it is.”
The boat was insured for $38,000, McCausland said. The Coast Guard, Gouldsboro Police Department, Maine State Police and Maine Marine Patrol all have assisted in the investigation, he said. The case remains under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office.