Two Escape from Cooke Aquaculture Boat Fire

Marine Patrol Officer Brian Brodie rescued two employees of Cooke Aquaculture in Passamaquoddy Bay after their boat caught fire on August 31.

At approximately 2 p.m. while on routine patrol, Brodie spotted the two paddling a life raft. Brett Newman and Patrick Blair, both of Campobello, had been aboard a 40-foot lobster-style boat supplying feed for Cooke's sites in the Bay when it caught fire.

According to the two, they noticed smoke and then flames from the engine room. They deployed the life raft and were found by Officer Brodie approximately 5 minutes later about one eighth of a mile from shore near Todd Head in Eastport.

After pulling the two into his Marine Patrol vessel and confirming there were no other people on the boat or in the water, Officer Brodie pulled back to a safe distance until the US Coast Guard arrived. According to Officer Brodie, neither man was injured and both were wearing a life jacket. They were transferred to a Cooke Aquaculture vessel.

The boat was quickly fully engulfed in flames and drifted in the flood tide past Dog Island and into the whirlpools between Deer Island Point and Dog Island where it was monitored by the Coast Guard.


(Photo by Tom McLaughlin)