A 63-year-old Brooklin man was transported by LifeFlight helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center Saturday after the 18-foot Boston Whaler he was operating hit a wave, tossing him overboard, and a propeller severely lacerated his leg.

William Cohen was boating with his daughter and two friends of the family when the accident occurred. The group was leaving Naskeag Point, headed out around Harbor Island in a southerly direction, when a wave hit the boat and knocked it sideways, according to Officer Colin MacDonald of the Maine Marine Patrol.

“When the boat came down, it landed sideways against another wave,” MacDonald said. “It threw three people out the port side of the boat and then one person out the starboard side of the boat. The boat was obviously in gear, and it was going around in circles at a high rate of speed. It was about 150 to 200 yards from shore.”

Cohen and two of the passengers were wearing life jackets and surfaced quickly. Two people in another boat saw Cohen’s boat going in circles with no one in it and came to their rescue, pulling them from the water.

Cohen managed to get away from the boat, but not before the propeller severely lacerated his leg. “It was a tremendous amount of blood,” MacDonald said. “It hit an artery.”

Emergency medical technicians came to Cohen’s aid, but because of the amount of blood that had been lost decided to call in a LifeFlight helicopter.

Cohen’s boat continued going in circles until some local lobstermen took line from their lobster pots and strung it out  front of Cohen’s boat, “prop fouling” the boat.

“They basically entangled all their lobster line into the propeller of the boat so it stopped it,” MacDonald said, “and they brought the boat into shore.”

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