Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Officials are looking into whether the setting sun may have temporarily obscured the vision of a 63-year-old Brunswick man who was killed in a boat collision off Littlejohn Island in Yarmouth.
Charles W. Whetham was killed when his 14-foot aluminum skiff collided with a yacht about 5:15 p.m. Friday, according to Sgt. Rob Beal of the Maine Marine Patrol.
The yacht was driven by Richard Lemieux of Scarborough and Foxboro, Mass. Seven other people were aboard the 38-foot yacht. No one on the yacht was injured, Beal said.
Beal said investigators are looking into the potential role the sun, which was low in the sky, played in the accident. It is possible the sun obscured Whetham's vision and he did not see the yacht as he passed in front of it, Beal said.
Whetham was traveling from Chebeague Island to Littlejohn Island when the collision occurred. His boat sustained major damage, while the yacht appeared to have only minor damage.
Whetham was in and out of consciousness when he was pulled from the water by the crew of a Coast Guard auxiliary boat that happened to be in the area, Beal said.
Efforts to revive Whetham were unsuccessful, and he was pronounced dead at Maine Medical Center in Portland.