Eleven lighthouse admirers were left injured on Saturday when a wooden walkway leading to the historic Doubling Point Lighthouse in Arrowsic, Maine, collapsed during the state's annual celebration of lighthouses. The incident occurred shortly before 1 p.m. local time and was reported to the police, who immediately dispatched fire and rescue officials to the scene.
According to Bath Fire Department Deputy Chief Chris Cummings, the last portion of the ramp that led to the lighthouse gave way, causing the visitors to fall approximately 6 to 10 feet onto the muddy marsh below. Fortunately, due to it being low tide and the presence of rocks and driftwood, none of the injuries sustained were life-threatening. Five injured individuals were transported to a local hospital for further medical attention, while six others were evaluated at the scene.
Tragically, this incident took place during the highly anticipated Maine Open Lighthouse Day, an annual event that attracts thousands of tourists who flock to explore the state's historic lighthouses. The Doubling Point Lighthouse, managed by the Friends of Doubling Point Light, had been a popular destination for visitors seeking to immerse themselves in its rich maritime history.
The Doubling Point Lighthouse, an active beacon aiding the Coast Guard, has a fascinating backstory. It was situated on the Kennebec River in Arrowsic, Maine, after the government acquired the land in 1896 based on a recommendation from an annual report advocating for fog lights along the river. In 1899, the lighthouse was relocated from its original foundation to its present location at the end of a lengthy catwalk stretching through the marsh and into the river.
The Friends of Doubling Point Light, a dedicated group responsible for managing the lighthouse, raised $50,000 to rebuild its foundation. The comprehensive project, which also involved the reconstruction of the walkway and a fresh coat of paint, was successfully completed in 2001. The lighthouse's website proudly showcases the efforts made to preserve this iconic landmark.
Following the unfortunate collapse of the walkway, the Doubling Point Lighthouse will remain closed to visitors until further notice, as stated on the lighthouse's website. The Friends of Doubling Point Light have not provided a timeframe for the repair of the platform, leaving visitors disappointed and concerned about the future accessibility of this historic site.
As the investigation into the collapse continues, authorities will undoubtedly focus on determining the cause of the incident and implementing measures to prevent similar accidents from occurring in the future. The safety of visitors remains a top priority, and it is essential that the walkway is restored promptly to ensure the continued enjoyment and exploration of the Doubling Point Lighthouse by tourists and lighthouse enthusiasts alike.