June 23, 2018
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Coast Guard rescues capsized boater in Owls Head

By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — Luck and the quick action of U.S. Coast Guard crew members aboard the cutter Thunder Bay helped save a man whose motorboat capsized Saturday evening near Owls Head Light.

According to the commander of Coast Guard Station Rockland, the 140-foot ice-breaking vessel Thunder Bay had been on a training run in Penobscot Bay at about 6:30 p.m. when people aboard spotted a man in the water.

The man, who has not been identified by the Coast Guard as per the agency’s privacy policy, was clinging to his 14-foot runabout, according to Lt. Nick Barrow.

“The boat was partially sunk at the time,” he said Tuesday.

Crew members were able to haul the man out of the water and they contacted Station Rockland for assistance.

Sebastian Arnsdorf, the commanding officer of the station, said three staffers took a 25-foot small response boat to assist the Thunder Bay. They helped warm the man, who had spent about 20 minutes in 56-degree water, and then brought him to Rockland. Emergency responders met him there, but the man didn’t require hospitalization and “walked away,” Barrow said.

According to Arnsdorf, if the Thunder Bay hadn’t been at the scene, it is possible that the outcome would have been much worse.

The man was boating alone and had not been able to make a Mayday call. His radio hadn’t been hooked up, and he wasn’t able to connect it before the boat sank, Arnsdorf said.

“The only reason they found him is because the Thunder Bay was conducting training,” he said.

The man was wearing a life jacket, according to the station chief.

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