Collision with whale may have flipped boat

Posted Aug. 22, 2010, at 9:28 p.m.

CAMPOBELLO ISLAND, New Brunswick — A boat that capsized Saturday evening in Head Harbour Passage resulted in five people being rescued from the water, according to officials,

Reports that a collision with a whale had caused the pleasure boat to overturn could not be confirmed Sunday afternoon.

Federal emergency response agencies in Canada and the United States were contacted about providing assistance to the capsized boat.

Chris Berry, operational unit controller for Coast Guard Sector Northern New England in South Portland, said the U.S. Coast Guard was contacted at 7:20 p.m. Saturday and asked to rescue people whose boat had capsized in Canadian waters off Casco Bay Island between Campobello and Deer islands. Five people who had been on board the overturned boat were reported to be in the water, he said.

The Coast Guard sent a response vessel from Eastport, but “before we got to the scene, the people had been rescued” by private boats that had arrived to help, Berry said.

Cmdr. Mike Considine of the Canadian Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Halifax, Nova Scotia, said Sunday that the agency had been preparing to send helicopters to the scene when they were notified everyone was OK.

Considine and Berry each said they had heard that people in the boat reported that it had capsized because it had struck a whale. Neither could confirm that this was the reason the boat overturned.

Considine referred further questions about the incident to the local office of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. A message left there was not returned Sunday afternoon.

Attempts Sunday to contact other officials and New Brunswick residents who might be knowledgeable about the incident also were unsuccessful.

CORRECTION: An earlier version had an incorrect location for Campobello Island. It is in New Brunswick.

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