Schooner runs aground during boat parade



The windjammer American Eagle lists to port while waiting to refloat after hitting bottom in Somes Sound Tuesday during the Parade of Sail. PHOTO COURTESY OF WINSTON SHAW

The windjammer American Eagle lists to port while waiting to refloat after hitting bottom in Somes Sound Tuesday during the Parade of Sail. PHOTO COURTESY OF WINSTON SHAW

MOUNT DESERT — Hundreds of spectators along Sargent Drive and on private pleasure boats enjoyed the Parade of Sail in Somes Sound on Tuesday, but 25 passengers aboard one schooner got more of an adventure than they had expected.

Around 3:15 p.m., a crew member aboard the 79-foot American Eagle radioed to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) that they had hit bottom just off Sand Point on the eastern side of the Sound. The tide was receding at the time, and the vessel eventually developed a list, although it was not reported to be taking on water.

There were no injuries and no pollution from the incident, according to a Coast Guard news release.

A USCG patrol vessel assigned to the parade, as well as a larger motor lifeboat from the nearby Coast Guard base in Southwest Harbor, responded, as did a USCG Auxiliary vessel and several Good Samaritans.

Responding vessels shuttled the passengers to the dock at the nearby John Williams Boat Company in Hall Quarry. Five members of the American Eagle crew remained on board.

The Coast Guard said the plan was to refloat the vessel at high tide later that evening.

Part of Maine’s historic windjammer fleet, American Eagle is home ported in Rockland.

Earl Brechlin

Earl Brechlin

Editor at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander editor Earl Brechlin first discovered Mount Desert Island 35 years ago and never left. The author of seven guide and casual history books, he is a Registered Maine Guide and has served as president of the Maine and New England Press Associations. He and his wife live in Bar Harbor.

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