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05 December 2014 - 05:24 PM



vid & story: http://bangordailyne...amaging-others/

EASTPORT, Maine — A “catastrophic failure” very early Thursday morning caused a large section of the Eastport breakwater to collapse into the inner harbor, injuring one man, sinking a boat and damaging numerous other vessels.

While local officials estimated damages in the millions of dollars, they also said they were thankful the portion of the pier collapsed at 2 a.m. rather than 6 a.m., when more fishermen would have been on their boats or working on the breakwater. At least 50 feet of the breakwater collapsed.

“We’re all grateful that there are no serious injuries,” interim Eastport City Manager Elaine Abbott said. “It could have been dozens of fishermen. This had the potential to have far more significant impact.”

The city owns the breakwater, which Abbott said is “absolutely vital” to local fishermen, but the Eastport Port Authority manages it. Port Authority Director Chris Gardner said late Thursday morning that Pat Donahue, a local fisherman and caretaker of the 1923 schooner Ada C. Lore, had been sleeping on the boat when a portion of the pier collapsed. Donahue injured his leg and went to a Calais hospital for treatment after the incident.

“We are very pleased to say that [Donahue] is already back out on a fishing boat,” Gardner said. “Hardy folk, I’ll tell you.”

Before he went to the hospital, Donahue told Tom McLaughlin of WQDY-FM that the sound of the pier crumbling woke him up.

“I came up on the deck, and I got my stuff, and I was going to leave with my dog,” he told McLaughlin. “[Then] it fell on the boat, and all was chaos.”

Although his pickup truck, which had been parked on the pier, went into the water, Donahue’s dog was OK, according to the radio station.

The breakwater was built in the 1960s using sheets of metal that were pile driven into the harbor floor to create boxes that were filled with dirt. Then the top of those boxes was paved over, creating a driveable surface and parking area, according to Gardner.

On Thursday, “the interior parts collapsed, dumping the contents in the ocean,” he said.

A video released by Coast Guard Station Eastport shows electrical sparks and explosions occurring about 2 a.m. as the central portion of the pier collapses into the water. Then in the foreground, a large wave violently rocks the fishing boats moored in the inner basin.

While investigators will have to determine exactly why the pier collapsed, many people were well aware that the breakwater needed some work.

“This facility was scheduled for rebuild, and it just went out for bid a week ago,” Gardner said. “We had hoped it was going to go out sooner.”

The majority of the $11 million replacement project was going to be funded by a $6 million federal Department of Transportation grant, with the rest of the money coming from the Maine Department of Transportation and the city of Eastport.

In a grant application from June 2013, the Maine DOT described the breakwater as “a vital economic component to the local and regional community” and essential to the economic recovery of the rural, economically distressed region. The 400-foot-long L-shaped breakwater and pier provides deep-water berthing for cruises ships, cargo vessels, fishing boats, yachts, and U.S. Navy and Coast Guard boats.

Because the structure also protect’s Eastport’s inner harbor and marina, it’s referred to as a breakwater.

“The condition of the breakwater has deteriorated over the last 20 years and is now in a state of disrepair and reduced structural capacity,” the Maine DOT said.

The steel sheet metal walls have corroded, making underwater holes, and the fill material behind the walls has been coming out, according to the Maine DOT. The existing deterioration already had caused the Maine DOT to reduce weight limits on the structure to 1 ton or less.

“The extent and severity of the deterioration is now beyond any repair program,” the state agency said.

On Thursday, in addition to the Ada C. Lore, which is used for whale watching cruises, the scallop dragger Double Trouble was significantly damaged. The Medric, a pilot boat used by the port authority, sank and remained on the bottom of the harbor Thursday morning, Gardner said. Some of the other 20-25 boats tied up in the inner basin were damaged in the incident, too, he said.

“Right now our most immediate concern is taking care of the damaged vessels and taking whatever steps are reasonable and necessary to accommodate the remaining fishing fleet,” he said. “Scallop season just started.”

He said he got to the scene shortly after 2 a.m., because he was immediately contacted by Eastport Fire Chief Richard Clark, who also is the operations manager for the port authority.

“He advised me of the situation and I came in. It’s been quite a morning,” Gardner said. “I cannot stress enough that our major concern is the fishing fleet.”

He said repairing the pier would cost millions of dollars, but he did not yet have an estimate for repairing the damaged vessels.

Abbott said the breakwater is insured.

On Thursday morning, the scene there was hectic, she and Gardner said, with many organizations working to salvage the fleet and figure out next steps. Along with Eastport city officials, the port authority and the U.S. Coast Guard, crews from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection also were working at the breakwater.

“It is a tremendous response,” Gardner said.




cool weather maps & graphs

17 November 2014 - 03:16 PM

seems like lots of interesting stuff out there.

just two of many.. would like to see more.


hover for local wind:





05 November 2014 - 01:57 AM




Captain recounts tragedy off Matinicus

CUSHING, Maine — Christopher Hutchinson said he and his two crew members were on their way back to the mainland Saturday afternoon after a day of hauling traps when the seas and winds quickly intensified, causing his 45-foot lobster boat to flip.

“We got hit by one large wave, and that pushed us into another. The windows to the wheelhouse blew out, and we began taking on water quickly,” Hutchinson said. “I’m not 100 percent sure what happened next, but the next thing I recall is being in the wheelhouse and the boat is upside down in the water.”

Hutchinson, 26, said he managed to get out of the wheelhouse and made it to the surface, where he climbed on top of his vessel, No Limits.

The two crew members — Tom Hammond, 27, of Rockland and 15-year-old Tyler Sawyer, who lived in St. George and Waldoboro — are still missing and presumed dead.

“I kept screaming for Tom and Tyler, but I didn’t hear or see them again,” Hutchinson said.

The captain said he clung to the bottom of the boat by holding on to the keel and the bronze pipes of the keel cooler.

“I never thought I would make it,” Hutchinson said, as he described being pounded by waves he said were 10 feet and greater.

The boat flipped at about 11 a.m. several miles west of Matinicus, he said. The emergency position indicating radio beacon, or EPIRB, and life raft popped out from under the vessel more than two hours later, he said. The EPIRB activated at 1:36 p.m.

When he saw the raft come to the surface, Hutchinson said, he swam the 15 to 20 feet to the raft and climbed on board. The raft was about 4 feet in diameter and was enclosed with a canopy.

He said he fired off one flare and waited. Eventually, he spotted a helicopter and fired off another flare.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod arrived at about 4:30 p.m., lowered a bucket down to the raft and hauled Hutchinson up to the helicopter. He was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland for observation and was released from the hospital at 9 p.m. Saturday.

The Coast Guard and Maine Marine Patrol undertook a 17-hour search for the two missing crew members, using a helicopter, a 47-foot boat out of the Coast Guard station in Rockland and a Marine Patrol vessel.

The Coast Guard suspended the search Sunday after probing about 130 square miles of ocean.

Hutchinson said Tuesday that when the trio left the Linda Bean dock in Tenants Harbor early Saturday morning, the wind was not blowing. He said he has fished the area off Matinicus known as 11-Mile Ridge for six years. He said his vessel was one of the larger ones, and he was not concerned about the weather.

“I’ve never seen the wind and seas pick up so fast,” he said.

Hutchinson said he checked the weather at 10 a.m., and the winds on nearby Matinicus Rock were reported at 22 knots. The crew hauled in one more line of 15 traps, then decided to head home, he said.

Hammond joined Hutchinson’s crew about six weeks earlier and Sawyer about a month earlier, the captain said. Hutchinson said he has known Hammond for about six years.

Rockland fisherman Donald Johnson said Tuesday he was friends with Hammond. He said the Rockland man had fished for a Matinicus Island lobsterman earlier in the year and later worked at the Market Basket in Rockport.

Hutchinson and Johnson said Hammond was a hard-working man.

Sawyer dropped out of school after attending Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro, Hutchinson said.

MVHS Principal Harold Wilson confirmed Tuesday that Sawyer had been a student at the school last year and remembered him as a good person.

“He was always respectful,” Wilson said.

The Coast Guard will conduct an investigation into the sinking. Hutchinson said he had three survival suits on board but said the boat flipped so quickly no one was able to put them on.

Hutchinson said he plans to return to fishing. His vessel was insured.





i'll buy you rogaine

29 October 2014 - 08:26 PM

little thangz stoppin'





big thanz poppin'