Vinalhaven ferry strikes ledge
Vinalhaven — A backup ferry heading for Rockland from Vinalhaven the morning of June 3 struck a ledge, forcing it to return to port.
There were no injuries, according to the U.S. Coast Guard office in Portland.
The 104-foot, 198-gross-ton Everett Libby left Vinalhaven on the regularly scheduled 8:45 a.m. trip to Rockland. The ferry struck the ledge not long after leaving the island. The 15-mile trip to Rockland normally takes one hour and 15 minutes.
There were 38 people aboard the ferry when the mishap occurred.
Fog was thick in Penobscot Bay at the time of the incident.
Ferry Service Manager Jim MacLeod said the vessel, operated by Capt. David Weferling, had left Vinalhaven and was making a right turn at Norton Point. The passage is narrow there and with the thick fog, MacLeod said, it appears the captain made too wide a turn.
The vessel's port propeller and rudder struck the ledge. The vessel was able to get back to the Vinalhaven terminal on its own power, he said.
The normal ferries for the Vinalhaven to Rockland run are the Capt. Charles Philbrook and the Governor Curtis, according to the Maine State Ferry Service's Web site. June 3 was the final day of the Everett Libby being used for the run with the Governor Curtis scheduled to return to service June 4.
The Governor Curtis was sent out and picked up passengers at 1 p.m. June 3.
The Coast Guard escorted the Everett Libby back to Rockland with no passengers. The vessel is at the ferry service terminal in Rockland but will be taken to Rockland Marine for repairs to the propeller blades that are bent and to the rudder, MacLeod said.
The Coast Guard office in Portland said more information would be released and it was still investigating the incident.
The Everett Libby was built in 1960, MacLeod said.