Miss M photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard
Water taxi Bay Express photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard
PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The U.S. Coast Guard said three people were injured when a water taxi collided with a pleasure boat in Portland Harbor Saturday night.
U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Scott McCann said U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree was a passenger on the water taxi. She was not injured in the crash.
Spokesperson Willy Ritch said Pingree's husband, Donald Sussman, was also on board the water taxi. Ritch said Sussman sustained head injuries and was taken to Maine Medical Center where he was treated and released. Sussman had numerous cuts and bruises but the injuries were not life-threatening.
Ritch said Jackie Potter, a former staffer of Pingree's, was also on board. Potter suffered minor injuries and was treated and released from the hospital.
Officials said one person on the recreational boat was also injured in the crash.
The incident happened around 10:30 p.m. Saturday near Fort Gorges in Portland Harbor. Lt. McCann said the injuries to all the people involved were believed to be non-life threatening.
Officials with the Portland Fire Department said a total of nine people were on board the two boats. Two were on the recreational boat and seven people were on the water taxi.
The Bay Express water taxi was safely moored at Dimillo's Marina in Portland and the recreational boat Miss M has been moored at Portland Yacht Services.
Congresswoman Pingree was returning from a wedding of a former staffer on Great Chebeague Island when the crash happened.
Ritch said Pingree's Chief of Staff Jesse Connolly, his wife and Portland city spokesperson Nicole Clegg, and Potter's husband Bill Black were all also on board the water taxi. None of them sustained injuries in the crash.
Pingree issued the following statement Sunday morning regarding the boat accident:
"My husband and I want to thank the quick work of the Coast Guard, who was on the scene within minutes, and the marine division of the Portland Fire Department who treated my husband and the others who were injured. From the moment they arrived we knew the injured were getting the best possible care. 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."
The U.S. Coast Guard and the Maine Marine Patrol are investigating the cause of the accident. Officials said alcohol breathalyzer tests were negative.