Oct 26, 2007

Getting lost between Matinicus and Rockland

It's the sort of minor tale of the sea that that "the Humble Farmer' might memorialize on his weekly radio show:

Lobster boat leaves Matinicus Island and becomes lost on en route to Rockland.

Was it storming? Did deep fogs fill the mouth of the bay? Was the crew desperately ill, or worse? Apparently not. Skies were clear. It was a little after 3 in the morning, and their chart plotter was broken and it was blowing about 15 knots out of the southwest, with a 4 foot swell. But still...

Coast Guard Station Rockland's public releases on the hapless lobster boat's two October 23rd incidents follow:

23 October
At 2:55am, Station Rockland received a report of a 40 foot lobster boat with two people on board that was disabled near Matinicus Island. When no commercial providers responded to the Marine Assistance Request Broadcast, Station Rockland responded with its 47' Motor Life Boat and Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Scott Self as the Coxswain.

Two and one half hours later:

At 5:39am, the MLB arrived on scene, took the boat in tow and proceeded to Matinicus Island. At 6:37am, just outside Matinicus Harbor, the boat was able to regain propulsion and the tow was dropped. The disable boat went into the harbor and the MLB returned to Rockland. Case Closed.

Four Hours Later

23 October
At 9:50am, Station Rockland received a report from the same boat they had just towed, that they were underway enroute Rockland when their chart plotter had broken and they didn't have any local charts. They did have GPS, but no way to tell where they were. Another commercial fishing vessel over heard the radio traffic, was near their position and offered to help. The commercial fishing vessel was able to locate the lobster boat and escort them back to Rockland. Case Closed.

CWO3 Curtis Barthel
Commanding Officer
CG Station Rockland

Matinicus is about 18 miles from Rockland. Its hard to think of any lobsterman who couldn't navigate this pretty straightforward route

The answer? They were delivering the lobsterboat from Away.

The Coasties didn't reveal whether they were downeasters bringing a lobster boat from Jonesport, or up from Portland, or even Canadians.

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