BROOKLIN, Maine — Three men were rescued Wednesday afternoon from a small island off Naskeag Point after a small boat they were riding in started to sink, according to Coast Guard officials.

According to Chris Berry, the Coast Guard’s civilian search and rescue coordinator, the three men were headed across Eggemoggin Reach from Naskeag Harbor in a 15-foot, outboard-powered boat on Wednesday afternoon when the boat started taking on water.

“There was a hole in the bow somewhere,” Berry said.

The men in the boat, Dick Eaton, 42, of Prospect, and Stockton Springs residents Steve Eomeroy, 52, and Steve Ashey, 21, managed to beach the boat on White Island, according to Petty Officer Thomas Sands. He said the trio had set out to dig clams on White Island, about a mile away from Naskeag Point, but knew they would not be able to make it back to shore. Once they made it to the island, they decided to call the Coast Guard for help instead, he said.

Sands said that the men assumed the leak was coming from a hole in the bow that recently had been patched, but that they were not positive where the water was coming from because the boat was filled with snow.

Berry said the men contacted the Coast Guard by radio around 1:30 p.m. to report they were stranded. The Coast Guard picked the men up and, with their boat in tow, delivered them back to Naskeag Point at approximately 3:45 p.m., he said.

According to Adriano Agostino of the Coast Guard station in Southwest Harbor, the men had a propane heater with them and were able to stay warm while they were stranded. They were well-dressed for the weather and needed no further assistance once they got back to shore, the Coast Guard said.

“They found a cabin on the island, so they were out of the elements,” Agostino said.

Sands said the men had adequate emergency flotation but were advised to avoid leaks next time.

“We definitely advised them to make sure their boat is in better shape before they take it back out,” Sands said.

Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....