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File photo shows the S/V Grace Bailey. Photo: CC BY-SA 3.0/Cinster

File photo shows the S/V Grace Bailey. Photo: CC BY-SA 3.0/Cinster

One Dead, Three Injured After Schooner Mast Collapse off Rockland, Maine

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 7766
October 10, 2023

In a tragic incident off Rockland, Maine, on Monday, one person lost their life and three others sustained injuries after being struck by the mast of a historic schooner. The U.S. Coast Guard responded to the incident involving the schooner Grace Bailey, which was reportedly demasted, causing injuries to four of the 33 people on board.

The crew of the 118-foot schooner contacted the Coast Guard around 10 a.m., seeking assistance after their mast broke and fell onto the deck. The incident resulted in head and back injuries for the four individuals involved.

The Coast Guard dispatched a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat (MLB) crew from Coast Guard Station Rockland to provide aid. Upon arrival, the MLB crew transferred one woman from the Grace Bailey to awaiting EMS personnel at Rockland Harbor, where she was pronounced dead.

The MLB crew returned to the Grace Bailey with EMS personnel to retrieve the remaining injured individuals. They were transferred to EMS at Rockland Harbor and taken to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport.

Photos of the schooner show the main mast snapped in half and collapsed on the deck of the vessel.

“In this time of sorrow, we offer our deepest condolences to the grieving family, and our most heartfelt wishes for a swift recovery to those harmed,” said said Capt. Amy Florentino, the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England commander. “Our investigation aims to identify causative factors that led to this tragic incident.”

Commercial salvage personnel from Charlie’s Marine Services were called on to tow the Grace Bailey to Rockport Harbor.

The Grace Bailey, a two-masted schooner built in 1882, offers multi-night cruises for up to 29 passengers from its homeport in Rockport, Maine. The schooner, previously known as “MATTIE”, was once part of Maine’s original “Windjammer” fleet.

The Coast Guard has initiated an investigation into the cause of the mast collapse.

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