Not a Good Night for a Swim on Westport Island
An outing for the Westport Volunteer Fire Department rescue boat
What began around noon as a startling Main Road encounter for a Westport Island woman became a call to the Sheriff’s Department and the Westport Fire Department regarding “a man in his 20’s engaged in suspicious activity in the vicinity of the Squire Tarbox Inn.” Both agencies joined in a search for the man who fled into the woods when he sighted Westport Volunteer Fire Department Deputy Chief Jason Abbott.
When the Sheriff’s Department brought a search dog into the area, they released fire department volunteers who had set up an initial search perimeter. Soon after, the canine unit tracked their man to Chase Drive. Rather than engage in friendly conversation, the man jumped into chilly Heal Cove to swim to chillier water. Sheriff’s officers then called for the Westport Fire Department’s rescue boat.
Jason Abbott donned the cold water rescue suit while fellow firefighters got the rescue boat into the water and directed Wiscasset Ambulance into the scene to ready for a hypothermia run. Although the swimmer was resistant to being rescued — despite an outside temperature of about 33 degrees and water temperature of about 43 degrees — he was ultimately persuaded. Thanks to the Sheriff’s Department, Westport Volunteer Fire Department, and Wiscasset Ambulance, the situation ended before complete nightfall, and Westport Islanders can sleep comfortably tonight.
Tonight was Westport Volunteer Fire Department’s first major incident since Jason Abbott was appointed Deputy Chief and Stacey Hutchison was appointed Captain. And, it was newcomer, Libby Fairfield’s first call — with support team Roger Quandt, James Richardson, Earl Grant, Stan Lane, and Roger Higgins. Great job all!