The Maine Marine Patrol Friday night said that the lobsterman found unresponsive on the deck of his boat discovered circling in Penobscot Bay off Owls Head Lighthouse died of natural causes while his boat was underway.

Robert Staples, 78, of North Haven, was aboard the Legacy, a 40-foot lobster boat that was discovered circling in rough waters off of Rockland Harbor around 2:50 p.m. Friday. Marine Patrol reported being called about the boat around 3:15 p.m.

Marine Patrol Sgt. Matt Talbot and Specialist Corrie Roberts responded from Rockland in the Protector, and found Staples’ vessel traveling in circles in 3- to 4-foot seas and 20-knot winds. They were met on scene by member of the U.S. Coast Guard, who had confirmed that an unconscious individual was on board.

“Battling difficult conditions, Sgt. Talbot maneuvered alongside the circling fishing vessel and, after several attempts Specialist Roberts was able to jump on board the Legacy and gain control of the vessel,” said the Marine Patrol, in a press release. Members of the U.S. Coast Guard then boarded and attempted to resuscitate Staples while Roberts took the vessel to Rockland Harbor.”

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