Coast Guard rescues three after sailboat capsizes in Portland Harbor

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SOUTH PORTLAND — A U.S. Coast Guard crew rescued three people Sunday afternoon after their sailboat capsized in Portland Harbor.

The people aboard the 19-foot sailboat told rescuers they had been tacking, or changing direction, by Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse in South Portland a little before 1 p.m., when a gust of wind caught them at the wrong time and the boat tipped over, according to Chris Berry of Coast Guard Sector Northern New England in Portland.

Two people aboard were wearing life jackets but one was not, he said. The incident was spotted by someone on shore, who called 911 to report that people were in the water. Berry said he did not yet have the names of the people who were rescued and said the sailboat did not have a name.

“The Coast Guard response boat arrived on scene, pulled the people from the water and delivered them to the Portland fire boat for (medical) evaluation,” Berry said later that afternoon.

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The water was 54 degrees Fahrenheit, he said.

“It worked out well. It could have been a lot worse,” Berry said, adding the boat was being salvaged by Sea Tow. 

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