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 – such as 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. Ninety percent of all residents on the offshore islands we serve use the Sunbeam’s services.
After more than a century of service, the Mission is well trusted, and the Sunbeam and its crew are often summoned in crisis situations or to help a community say good-bye to a deceased friend. The cross on the Sunbeam’s bow dates from the late 1930s, when the international situation made it necessary to designate the vessel a mercy ship. In cold winters, the Sunbeam breaks 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. Moonbeam is the Mission’s interim boat. The Sunbeam crew relies on Moonbeam to carry them to the islands and back. Sometimes Sunbeam crew members go to work using other means of transportation such as island mail boats and airplanes.
Here is the Sunbeam’s schedule for Island Outreach and Island Health Services.
For inquiries about the Sunbeam, contact Douglas Cornman, Director of Island Outreach.