Last Friday, May 17, at approximately 1:28 p.m., the City of Portland’s Fire Department’s Marine Division, Marine 1, was dispatched to provide assistance to the harbormaster of the Port of Portland in responding to a distress call from 2 individuals on Outer Green Island, located 5 miles east of Portland at the head of the Casco Bay.
One of the individuals had become seriously ill and was unable to leave the island under her own abilities. Limited access on the island requires visitors to row ashore in a small inflatable boat.
With no wharf or float, and a lack of protection from prevailing winds and seas, first responders developed a plan for a complicated technical rescue. Two firefighters, Firefighter Jeb Gerrish and Firefighter Nicholas Jewett, within the Marine Division donned water rescue suits and swam approximately 200 yards to shore to establish a rope line that could be used for transport with a small inflatable watercraft. Two females were then transported to the harbormaster’s boat and with assistance provided by the South Portland Fire Department transported to Marine 1 where medical assistance could be provided. Upon the arrival of Marine 1 at the Maine State Pier, one individual was transported by Medcu 5 to a local hospital for treatment.
Outer Green Island is owned by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) and is managed by the National Audubon Society and MDIFW. The island is closed to public visitation during seabird breeding season (April 1 – August 31).
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