US Rep. Pingree unharmed in Maine boat accidentAP , Associated Press
Sep. 8, 2013 11:54 AM ET
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree escaped injury in a late-night boating accident in Portland Harbor, but her husband suffered head injuries and required treatment, officials said.
Pingree, husband S. Donald Sussman and four other people were returning from a wedding on Chebeague Island at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday when the water taxi they were on collided with a recreational power boat near Fort Gorges, an island fort near the middle of the harbor, Pingree said in a statement.
Sussman was transported to shore by a city fireboat and then taken by ambulance to Maine Medical Center, where he was treated for cuts and bruises and released, the statement said. He was resting at home Sunday.
Another passenger on the Bay Express water taxi and a person on the Miss M recreational boat were also injured.
"Although it was a scary night, it could have been much worse if it weren't for the skill and dedication of everyone who responded to the accident," Pingree said in the statement.
The U.S. Coast Guard and the Maine Marine Patrol are investigating.
Both vessels were moving through the water at the time of the crash, but it's unclear how fast they were going or who was at fault, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Robert Simpson.
"That's all part of the investigation, to see if everybody had the proper safety equipment and required navigation lights," he said.
Alcohol breath tests on the boat operators came back negative, the Coast Guard said. Alcohol tests are routinely taken in accidents involving commercial vessels.
Besides Pingree and her husband, the water taxi was carrying her chief of staff and his wife and a former staffer and her husband. The former staffer, Jackie Potter, was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries and released.
Sussman is majority owner of Maine Today Media, which owns the Portland Press Herald and two other daily newspapers in Maine.