CRANBERRY ISLES, Maine — Two summer residents of Little Cranberry Island, also known as Islesford, were injured Thursday when a golf cart they were riding in fell off the municipal dock, according to officials.
Edgar Blank, the island’s fire warden, said the accident happened when a woman driving the cart accidentally stepped on the gas pedal instead of the brake, sending the cart over the northern side of the dock. The passengers and cart fell to the beach below, a distance he estimated at 15 to 18 feet straight down.
“It was a simple pilot error,” Blank said.
Blank did not identify the people who were injured, but according to island residents the golf cart passengers were Nancy Brooks and her husband, Marvin Blitz. The accident occurred a few minutes before noon.
Jeff Nichols, spokesman for Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor, said late Monday afternoon that Brooks had been admitted to the hospital and was in stable condition. Blitz was still being evaluated, he said.
Blank said the dock has a railing along one side but none on the other because fishermen often stack their traps along the dock’s northern edge, which faces a nearby dock owned by the island’s fishing co-op. In the 40 or so years that the municipal dock has existed, he said, Thursday’s accident was only the second in which a vehicle went off the side.
“We rarely have incidents like that,” Blank said. “Ninety percent of the time there are traps that would have prevented that from happening.”
Initial reports indicated that Brooks fell clear of the cart but that the vehicle may have landed on Blitz. Blank said, however, that he believes the male passenger managed to stay in the cart and was not struck by it after it toppled over the side.
Blank said the emergency response personnel on the island quickly arrived at the accident scene and coordinated transportation to the hospital with Northeast Harbor Ambulance Service on Mount Desert Island. Within 30 minutes after the accident happened, the patients were put on a private lobster boat and taken to the municipal pier in Seal Harbor. Had they been taken to Northeast Harbor, he said, the combined boat and ambulance trip to the hospital would have taken about 20 minutes longer.
Emergency response officials would have called for a LifeFlight helicopter, Blank said, but the fog was too thick for the helicopter to fly out to the island.