Closures for Winter
December 2, 2013: Acadia is now in winter mode, which means that most of Park Loop Road, including Cadillac Mt. road, is closed. Still open is the Ocean Drive section,from Schooner Head overlook to Otter Cliff Rd., and Jordan Pond area via Jordan Pond Rd. More »
Fire Management Operations Burn Scheduled
The Fire Management Operation plans to burn a large debris pile at Satterlee Pit tomorrow, Thursday December 12, 2013 and the Cadillac Orchard piles on Friday, December 13, 2013. More »
High surf washes visitors into ocean at Acadia National Park
Contact: Stuart West, 207-288-8770
Bar Harbor, Maine---On Sunday, August 23, a large wave washed over a crowd of visitors gathered along the coast along Acadia National Park’s Ocean Drive, sweeping seven people into the ocean and injuring others.
Acadia National Park Superintendent Sheridan Steele was among those along the shoreline, viewing the storm swells associated with Hurricane Bill. “Like many residents and visitors, I went down to the Thunder Hole area about 11:30 a.m. as high tide approached to see the surf and take pictures. Hundreds were lining the shore and Ocean Drive to see the power of nature and spectacular waves and splash.”
After several hours of sustained swells of 12-15 feet, a much larger wave hit the coast at 12:00 p.m. and struck a group of approximately twenty people gathered near the closed Thunder Hole viewing area, sweeping seven people into the water. Four were able to climb out on their own and three were carried offshore.
“My wife Barb and I were there among the crowds watching the incredible splash when the largest waves hit,” said Steele. “Very quickly, we began receiving multiple reports of injuries and people in the water.”
Park staff immediately treated injuries and notified the U.S. Coast Guard, which responded with a vessel and two aircraft. The Maine Marine Patrol also responded with a patrol boat and assisted in the search. Eleven people were transported to the Mount Desert Island Hospital.
The U.S. Coast Guard recovered Peter Axlerod, 55, of New York City and Simone Pelletier, 12, of Belfast, Maine from the water within one hour of the incident. Both were transported to the Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor for treatment of their injuries. Axlerod’s 7 year old daughter, Clio, was recovered from the water at 3:30 PM and did not survive.
“All of us at Acadia National Park are saddened by the loss of the little girl,” said Steele. “Undoubtedly this situation could have been much worse had we not warned as many people as we did and had it not been for the outstanding response of the park staff and the community. Their quick professional actions saved others.”
Did You Know?
Since 1999, propane-powered Island Explorer buses have carried more than two million passengers in Acadia National Park, eliminating more than 685,000 automobile trips and preventing 6,444 tons of greenhouse gases. The fare-free buses are supported by your entrance fees. More...