Urchin fishermen rescued after boat capsizes near Cutler

CUTLER — The Maine Marine Patrol rescued two urchin fishermen from a ledge near Cutler after their boat capsized in rough seas Monday.

The two, tender Carroll Perry and diver James Johnson, both of Addison, were fishing near the mouth of Little Machias Bay at noon when the boat, a 25-foot inboard owned by Johnson, was swamped by a wave as Johnson was attempting to get into the boat.

According to Marine Patrol Sgt. Colin MacDonald, the two then swam approximately 400 feet to a nearby ledge with only Johnson wearing a dive suit and Perry unprotected from the 46-degree water.

According to MacDonald, after reaching shore Johnson covered Perry in rockweed to shield him from the wind and the cold. The temperature was 26 degrees.

At approximately 1:15 p.m., the Marine Patrol was notified of the overturned boat. Patrol Officers Russell Wright and Brian Brodie responded from Lubec in a Marine Patrol Protector vessel and arrived on scene at approximately 2 p.m. They were joined by the Coast Guard.

Wright soon spotted Johnson waving from the ledge and, despite rough 5-to-7-foot seas, was able to maneuver the Patrol vessel near the ledge, allowing Brodie to get on shore and help the two men back on board.

Once on board, Brodie provided Perry, who was suffering from hypothermia, with spare clothes to change into while Wright transported the two to Cutler, where local EMS was waiting. The two declined treatment and were transported to Machias to meet with family.

Shortly after leaving Cutler, Wright spotted the overturned boat. According to MacDonald, a local fisherman volunteered to tow the vessel to shore.


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