Kayaking veteran on way to Key West makes stop in Rockland

By Stephen Betts | May 17, 2017
Photo by: Stephen Betts Joseph Mullin arrives in Rockland the afternoon of May 16.

Rockland — A 66-year-old Massachusetts man who is trying to raise awareness of suicides by veterans passed through Rockland Tuesday as part of his planned kayak voyage to Key West, Fla.

Joseph Mullin arrived in Rockland the afternoon of May 16 after catching the Maine State Ferry on Vinalhaven. He said the seas were too rough to try to paddle from the island to the mainland.

Mullin began his East Coast odyssey April 31, leaving Quoddy Head Lighthouse in Lubec. The first day was not a great start, however, when his kayak flipped off the coast of Washington County and he spent an hour floating in 40-degree waters. The Coast Guard rescued the Wareham, Mass., man.

Mullin said he survived the incident by wearing survival clothing. The Coast Guard also credited him with being prepared and having a portable marine radio on board his 17-foot kayak.

Mullin was pulling his kayak on wheels along Union Street early Tuesday evening, saying he hoped to find a place for the night before getting back in the water on the St. George River the next day.

On his website, https://acske2017.org/, Mullin, who said he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from his military service, is trying to raise awareness of suicides by veterans.

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