New Brunswick

Eastport breakwater collapse injures man, damages boats

A large section of the breakwater and pier in Eastport, Maine, collapsed into the inner harbour on Thursday, leaving one man injured and three boats significantly damaged.

Cause of collapse under investigation, but 1962 structure was slated for reconstruction

A large section of the breakwater and pier in Eastport, Maine, collapsed into the inner harbour on Thursday, leaving one man injured and three boats significantly damaged.

The cause of the collapse is still under investigation, but the breakwater had been slated for reconstruction.

The collapse occurred shortly after 2 a.m. and was captured on video released by the U.S.Coast Guard.

The dramatic video shows several electrical explosions as the pilings give way and collapse in the water, causing huge waves that rock the numerous fishing boats moored there.

The Eastport breakwater was built in 1962, with an addition completed in 1985. (Connell Smith/CBC)
"The caretaker aboard the Ada C. Lore suffered a leg injury and the 77-foot schooner was damaged," the U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement on Thursday.

"The Eastport pilot boat is submerged, one unoccupied pickup truck is in the water, and a sheen was reported in the area."

Patrick Donahue was the man injured aboard the schooner Ada C. Lore. He and his dog Burton were there when it happened.

"When it hit the boat the boat leaned up on its side. I went flying back and hit the rail, I think," said Donahue.

His pickup truck — parked on top of the breakwater — ended up at the bottom of the harbour. The Ada C. Lore is badly damaged but likely salvageable.

The breakwater is owned by the Eastport Port Authority.

"We have been in touch with both state and federal officials regarding how we proceed in the coming hours and days," the port authority stated in a post on Facebook.

"We are so thankful for no serious injuries and our focus will be on keeping our fishing fleet in the water and this community moving forward."

Boat owners were asked to remove their vessels from the area.

The Maine Department of Transportation had proposed demolishing the original 1962 structure and building a new 150-metre pier section connecting to the 1985 addition, according to a geotechnical report on its website.

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