One person killed as mast snaps on historic schooner

One person was killed and three injured when the main mast of a historic excursion vessel splintered and fell onto the vessel’s deck off the Maine coast on Monday.

A nearby coastguard vessel began evacuating the injured passengers from the 140-year-old schooner Grace Bailey within minutes of the mast’s catastrophic failure and collapse on the deck, which occurred while the schooner was returning from a four-day cruise, the vessel’s owner said in a statement.

One person died from injuries and three people were transported to hospitals, the Rockland Fire Department said. A helicopter transported one of the injured, while the other two were transported to a local hospital, fire officials said.

Mr Weidman, a trained emergency medical technician, had pulled alongside and went aboard to assist.

“It is an unforeseen circumstance,” Mr Weidman said. “No one trains to have a giant mast break on a schooner. Everyone acted with professionalism. Everyone was doing the best they could with the gifts that they had.”

Afterwards, Mr Weidman towed the schooner to Rockland Harbor.

The Grace Bailey is part of the US state’s so-called windjammer fleet, a collection of sailing vessels that take people on excursions up and down the coast.

“My crew and I are devastated by this morning’s accident, especially since the safety of our guests is always our biggest priority. Most importantly, we are beyond heartbroken that we lost a dear friend,” the vessel’s captain, Sam Sikkema, said in a statement.

The schooner’s operators said they had no idea why the mast failed. The coast guard will conduct a full investigation into the incident, they said. No names of the victims were released.

The Grace Bailey had posted images on social media earlier in the trip, including an image the day before of passengers carving pumpkins on the vessel.

The Grace Bailey’s overall length is 118 feet long (36 metres) and it can carry 29 passengers, according to its official website. It was built in Long Island, New York, in 1882.

– Advertisement –
– Advertisement –