Portland police said the fisherman who fell into Portland Harbor and died on Jan. 15 had lost his footing as the boat he was aboard docked at the Portland Fish Pier.

David Downes Photo courtesy of Brackett Funeral Home, Brunswick

Police Lt. Robert Martin declined to identify the man, but an obituary posted to the Brunswick-based Brackett funeral home identified him as David Downes, 51, a longtime commercial fisherman who lived in Brunswick. The Coast Guard said he was aboard the Tara Lynn II.

“He was on the edge of the boat trying to throw the rope to tie off,” Martin said.

Downes was in the water for about five minutes. He could not be revived and was pronounced dead at a Portland hospital.

Downes was originally from Rhode Island, and worked at various times from ports in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine, according to his obituary.

A request for an interview with his wife, Mary Jo Grover, was not immediately returned.

Downes fell into the water in view of a Coast Guard crew aboard the Cutter Sitkinak, which was docked nearby and immediately scrambled a rescue crew.


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