February 21, 2018
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Witnesses say boater intentionally ran over seal in Rockport

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKPORT, Maine — The fate of a harbor seal that was struck by a boat intentionally, according to witnesses, is unknown, a Maine Marine Patrol officer said.

Officer Wesley Dean said Thursday morning that multiple witnesses reported seeing a man aboard a small wooden skiff with a small outboard motor intentionally strike and ride over the seal in the inner harbor near the boat launch. The incident occurred late Wednesday morning, he said.

Dean said that injuring or killing a seal may be a violation of the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act and that he will be turning over his information to an investigator from the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The marine patrol officer said he talked with the person accused of the act but declined to release details of that interview since it is an ongoing investigation. Dean said the witnesses were on land and close by the incident.

A message left Thursday afternoon with the National Marine Fisheries Service law enforcement office in Portland was not immediately returned.

Dean said he was not able to find the seal when he responded to the matter Wednesday.

The reported attack on the seal comes a week after the broadcast of a documentary on Rockport’s most famous seal — Andre and the man who cared for him, Harry Goodridge.


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