Eleven lighthouse enthusiasts were injured when a walkway collapsed during an annual event promoting tourism to Maine’s beloved beacon, sending people plunging into the mud below.
The wooden walkway at the Doubling Point Lighthouse in Erosic collapsed on Saturday afternoon. The lighthouse was open to the public as part of Maine Open Lighthouse Day, a day when the state’s beautiful lighthouses are open to the public.
Bath Fire Department Deputy Chief Chris Cummings said five of the 11 injured were taken to hospitals.
Cummings said the bridge collapse occurred at low tide and some victims fell eight to ten feet, and they landed on the somewhat rocky soil below. He said multiple public safety departments responded to the scene.
“It was a team effort,” said Cummings, whose department is in a small town a few miles away.
Friends of Doubling Point Light member Karen McLean said the group intends to repair the lighthouse, but there is no timeline yet for doing so.
Visitors to the Friends of Doubling Point Light website received a message stating that the lighthouse was “closed to visitors until further notice” on Sunday. McLean said the group is working with local authorities following the collapse.
The Doubling Point Lighthouse has been standing since the late 19th century and is located on the Kennebec River. It is a small town of about 450 people located about 40 miles up the coast from Portland, the state’s largest city.
The lighthouse is active as a Coast Guard aid to navigation. The site has a long wooden path that leads through a marshy area to the lighthouse, which is shorter than many in the state with a tower height of 23 feet.