A 47-foot boat is seen at the U.S. Coast Guard station in Rockland in this March 10, 2017, file photo. Credit: Ashley L. Conti

A sailboat that departed from Mount Desert Island last month and then turned up safe and sound following a two-day search in the Gulf of Maine has been abandoned off the coast of Virginia after running into foul weather, according to media reports.

The three passengers on board — Nathaniel Davis, Charlotte Kirby and Wilfredo Lombardo — were rescued Nov. 19 from the foundering 40-foot sailboat named Dove by a passing cargo ship, according to a report by the Portland Press Herald.

The sailboat reportedly had lost its mast and the trio donned lifejackets before they were safely pulled on board the vessel Jaguar Max, the Islander reports. The sailboat was left behind at sea as the cargo ship brought the sailors back to shore.

The Dove had departed from John Williams Boat Co. on Somes Sound on MDI on Nov. 15 but, around 3 a.m. the next morning, someone on board the vessel called 911 from a cellphone and said “we are on a boat” before the call signal dropped, according to the Coast Guard. The agency then spent daylight hours on Nov. 16 and 17 searching for the boat in the Gulf of Maine, thinking there might be an emergency, before the Dove turned up off Montauk, New York.

A GPS device on board Dove had been deactivated after a communications subscription service for the device had not been renewed, according to the weekly Mount Desert Islander newspaper. After the search came up empty, a relative of one of the passengers renewed the service, reactivating the GPS, which the Coast Guard then detected off Long Island, the newspaper reported.

After the GPS was reactivated on Nov. 18, the Coast Guard was able to communicate with the trio on the boat and confirm that they and the boat were in good shape.

the boat continued sailing south toward Florida, but its passengers were rescued the following day after the mast broke.

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Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....