Wiscasset woman offers town late husband’s boat to aid rescues

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Sharon Jacques said her family made a lot of good memories on its 1988 Cobia bowrider Haley Morgan. And Jacques, husband Corey and their daughter Haley, the boat’s namesake, were having a beautiful day with friends on Damariscotta Lake in Jefferson July 9, 2017. Then he had a sudden, and fatal, cardiac event.

Maybe having an automated external defibrillator (AED) on board would have made a difference, or not, the Wiscasset woman said in a phone interview April 15. But boats do not tend to carry them, because AED’s cost a lot, she said.

Jacques is offering Wiscasset the 20-foot Haley Morgan, with an inboard/outboard motor and a trailer, to use or sell, to help save lives. 

Jacques said as a budget committee member she knew the town lacked a rescue boat; voters in June will consider tapping reserve funds for $20,000 to buy one. Jacques hopes, with her gift, the town can make the Haley Morgan that boat or auction it off to help buy or equip the new boat. “I wanted them to have the equipment to help them be able to save lives. So, I contacted (Fire Chief Rob Bickford) and I said, ‘You, know it just feels right (to do).’” Reached April 15, Bickford said the town was looking into the offer.

Jacques said Haley, 12, is “all on board” with the idea. “It just means so much to us to be able to give our community the resources that they need, to help.”

Selectmen are set to consider the donation in their 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 20 Zoom meeting. The meeting’s supporting documents, released with the agenda April 15, include a letter from Jacques. It reads in part, “I truly hope the boat and/or funds from (an) auction help our … fire department and harbor master to do their incredibly challenging jobs most efficiently.”

Jacques told Wiscasset Newspaper, in her husband’s memory she has also volunteered for American Heart Association, raising funds for it as Ms. Wiscasset International 2021 with the Mrs., Miss & Miss Teen International Pageants; and she plans to take a course to teach CPR. She said she and her daughter hope the recent fundraising for AHA will “help … prevent heart disease at an early age for another family.”

Besides the boat offer, selectmen are set to schedule a town vote on the school budget, appoint cemetery and other committee members and take up the next emergency medical services contracts with Westport Island, at $12,265, and Dresden, at $28,999, according to the agenda.

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