ROCKLAND – Police on Tuesday were searching for two people they believe stole a sailboat from its mooring in Rockland Harbor and ran it aground in Owls Head Harbor on Monday afternoon.
The Coast Guard’s Rockland station responded to a report about 4:30 p.m. Monday, Chief Petty Officer Josh Lemoi said Tuesday, of a boat with two people aboard running aground in Owls Head.
The Coast Guard sent a rescue boat to the harbor, as well as a vehicle.
Witnesses said they saw two males – believed to be in their late teens or early 20s – jump from the 38-foot sailboat into water that was waist-deep. They then ran into bushes on the shore and disappeared, Lemoi said.
The Coast Guard summoned the Knox County Sheriff’s Department and the state Marine Patrol to assist. Maine State Police also were called, and tracking dogs were brought to the scene, but were unable to find the males.
Officers from the Sheriff’s Department dusted for fingerprints on board the boat, Lemoi said.
The boat is owned by Rodney Whittemore of Skowhegan and was kept on a mooring in Rockland Harbor.
Witnesses said the boat had been at anchor in Owls Head, and it appeared that the two males motored into shore, where it ran aground. The boat was refloated successfully on the incoming tide, Lemoi said, and it appeared to have only minimal damage.
The owner of the boat arranged to have it towed back to Rockland, he said.