Warning buoys to mark sunken vessel

Posted:  Wednesday, May 30, 2018 - 9:45am

A sunken World War II-era minesweeper that sank in Wiscasset harbor over the winter will be marked with buoys to warn summer boaters of its presence.

Wiscasset Police Chief Jeff Lange discussed the derelict vessel with Harbor Master Officer Levon Trask Tuesday morning.

“Most of the commercial fishermen are aware it’s there and know to avoid it. Our concern is with pleasure boaters or visitors who aren’t aware of it,” Lange told the Wiscasset Newspaper.

Lange and Trask discussed placing buoys around the 66-foot wooden boat that sank at its mooring during a blizzard Jan. 4. The boat went down in about 30 to 40 feet of water off the former Mason Station power plant on Birch Point. Its sail mast is visible during low tide but not during periods of high water.

Lange said the U.S. Coast Guard in Boothbay Harbor has shown little interest in the sunken boat that’s near the outer edge of the town’s mooring field.

“They believe it’s far enough away from the river channel that it doesn’t pose any immediate hazard to navigation. We feel it still needs to be marked,” continued Lange. “Hopefully we’ll have what we need in place in the next few weeks – definitely before the Fourth of July.”

Lange said Chris Morrison of Wiscasset owns the boat. “To my knowledge he’s made no arrangements for raising it,” he said.

The boat was reportedly built as a minesweeper in England where it was purchased. It had been moored in Wiscasset harbor for several years before it sank.