Breakwater collapses, injures man, sinks boat, damages others

Bangor Daily News, Maine. By Abigail Curtis:

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. 

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