Immediate response

To the Editor:

On Monday, we received a phone call that no commercial boat owner wants to receive. There was a fire, and the passengers on board our boat needed to be evacuated.

Luckily, it was quickly followed by the message that everyone was safe.

We quickly deployed our resources to get help to the boat. After calling the U.S. Coast Guard, and due to the boat’s location when the emergency was discovered, the captain pulled into a nearby estate’s private dock in Somes Sound, where the passengers disembarked. Thankfully, we discovered that there in fact hadn’t been a fire, but rather a freak mechanical issue that caused soot from the engine to blow out of the engine compartment.

We take maintenance very seriously. In 12 years of running the boat, we were proud to say we had never missed a trip due to a mechanical issue.

To have this happen with passengers on board was disappointing. We were, however, very pleased with how our captain and crew smoothly and efficiently handled the emergency. We also were reminded of how important it is to be surrounded by a caring community.

The response from the U.S. Coast Guard and the local harbor master was immediate. Beyond the expected emergency responders was an impressive and endearing response from the general public as various boats responded to give assistance as needed.

On shore, the estate owner offered our guests water and welcomed them to the property. The estate’s caretaker called a family member with a connection to Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor, who immediately sent a bus to shuttle people back to the marina.

The crew at John Williams Boat Yard had a mechanic on board within minutes of taking our call. And Patrick from Great Cranberry Island gave assistance with towing the boat to the boatyard with his personal vessel, asking for nothing in return.

Though emergencies on the water can be particularly stressful, we are very thankful for all the help we received and pleased that the issue ended up being a minor one.

James and Andrew Allen

Sea Princess Cruises

Northeast Harbor


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