May 23, 2018
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Coast Guard rescues ailing sailor off North Haven

By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff

NORTH HAVEN, Maine — Coast Guard rescue crew members from Coast Guard Station Rockland medically evacuated an ailing man Monday afternoon from a sailboat near Compass Island Ledge off North Haven island.

The man, who was in his late 60s, was sailing alone on the vessel Intuito when another sailor on the boat C&C noticed that the man was lying on the deck and grew concerned. The solo sailor, whose name wasn’t available Tuesday afternoon, did not respond when the C&C came closer to check on him, according to Paul Painter, the search-and-rescue controller for Coast Guard Sector Northern New England in South Portland.

A 25-foot response Coast Guard vessel from Rockland immediately launched to check on the sailor, whom rescuers believe may have suffered a stroke, according to Painter.

“He was not coherent. He didn’t have all his faculties,” Painter said.

The rescue crew members consulted with the Coast Guard’s on-call flight surgeon and took the sailor ashore, where they turned him over to medical personnel in Rockland.

“As far as we know, he survived,” Painter said.

The Maine Marine Patrol towed the Intuito to Rockland Harbor.

Each year, the Coast Guard’s first district — which extends from New Jersey north to the Canadian border — conducts more than 2,500 search-and-rescue cases. Crews on average rescue more than 300 people annually, according to a press release issued Tuesday from the Coast Guard.

Painter said he was unable to access the man’s name because the fiber optic cable that runs between South Portland and Dover, N.H., had been cut, and the service’s Internet and digital connectivity was down. Because of the cut cable, personnel in the different stations on Tuesday had to go to the radio fixed facility towers and listen for radio distress broadcasts from vessels at sea.

He said that the cable has been cut on other occasions, mostly due to someone digging “in the wrong spot.”

“It’s unscheduled,” Painter said.

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