ACADIA NAT’L PARK — Mark Simon, a 68-year-old summer resident of Southwest Harbor, died Monday evening when he fell from ocean-side cliffs just south of Sand Beach.
According to park officials, Simon and his wife, Linda, parked along the Park Loop Road at about 7 p.m. so he could photograph the sunset from the Ocean Path. His wife, who remained in the car, became concerned when darkness fell and he had not returned. At about 9:30 p.m., she waved down a passing park ranger, who was on routine patrol.
“Park rangers located Mr. Simon’s backpack at the top of a bluff and discovered that he had fallen approximately 40 feet to the edge of the water,” park spokesman John Kelly said in a statement Tuesday early afternoon.
He said rangers were unable to reach Simon because of the steep cliff face. They attempted to make contact with him, but he did not respond.
Park rangers requested assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and Mount Desert Island Search and Rescue.
“The USCG responded with two boats as the rising tide carried Mr. Simon off shore into Newport Cove,” Kelly said.
The Coast Guard located his body within 50 yards of the shore at about 11:30 p.m. and transported it to the Bar Harbor town pier, where park rangers and paramedics with the Bar Harbor Fire Department were waiting.
Jordan-Fernald Funeral Home transported Simon’s body to the office of the Maine Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
“While the fall appears accidental, the National Park Service is investigating the circumstances,” Kelly said.
Simon and his wife lived most of the year in Glen Ridge, N.J., where he was an attorney. According to Southwest Harbor property tax records, they have owned their seasonal home on East Ridge Road since 1992.