The 74-foot, steel-hulled Sunbeam V brings the Maine Seacoast Mission’s services to residents of Maine’s most remote coastal and outer-island communities.
Island living presents unique challenges. Isolation can take its toll. Island populations are small, work is frequently independent, and public meeting places, like stores or churches, are few. Going off-island for a medical appointment can be a difficult, lengthy process.
The Sunbeam and its crew bring a welcome respite from that isolation, offering a warm meeting place, the opportunity to visit with crew members familiar with island living, and medical care via the ship’s nurse and telemedicine facilities. About 90% of residents on the offshore islands we serve use the Sunbeam’s services.
After more than a century of service, the Mission is well trusted. The Sunbeam and its crew are often summoned in crises or to help a community say goodbye to a deceased friend. The cross on the Sunbeam’s bow dated from the late 1930s when the international situation made it necessary to designate a mercy ship. In cold winters, the Sunbeam breaks the ice to open harbors and give islanders access to their boats.
The Sunbeam was recently hauled out of the water in Belfast, ME, for a routine major re-fit at Front Street Shipyard. The boat was returned to service in August 2020. Here is Sunbeam’s schedule for Island Outreach and Island Health Services. For inquiries about the Sunbeam, contact Douglas Cornman, Director of Island Outreach.