PORTLAND, Maine — Portland Firefighter Timothy Flynn, 58, died in an apparent boat accident Saturday while off-duty. The Portland Fire Department and the United States Coast Guard responded to the area of Cushing Island for a reported unmanned vessel at 12:40 p.m. Flynn was found in the water about 500 feet from the boat.
The Portland Fire Department says people on private vessels performed life saving measures before members of the U.S. Coast Guard and Portland Fire Department took over. Flynn was taken back to the mainland, and then to the hospital, but he was unable to be revived.
On Sunday, Flynn's loved ones were escorted by police and fire from the Medical Examiners office in Augusta to Portland. Along the procession route, fire trucks lined up on overpasses and others lined up outside Portland's Central Fire Station.
"It's kind of amazing what a big impact the quiet guy had," Flynn's niece, Shelby Flynn said.
"Bringing Timmy home, to see so much outpouring," Flynn's cousin and fellow Portland firefighter Chris Vail said.
Vail added that Flynn was there for everyone, no matter what.
"I say all of us as I incorporate not just the Portland Fire Department but the Peaks Island community," Vail said.
The island community, where family is at the forefront.
"He was the one you would call if you were in trouble and he would fix it and then never make you feel bad about it," Flynn's niece Amanda O'Brien said with a laugh.
Flynn started at the Portland Fire Department on November 17, 1986 and spent many years at the Munjoy Hill Station. His most recent position was the pilot of Marine 1. The Portland Professional Fire Fighter's Union, Local 740 says Flynn was the most senior firefighter in the department and was very well respected by his peers.
“Tim was one of our most respected and beloved firefighters,” said Portland Fire Chief Keith Gautreau. “The tremendous void caused by this tragic loss will be felt for a long time in our Department and with his family and friends on Peaks Island.”
Flynn was a lifelong resident of Peaks Island, where he also served as a firefighter while he was off-duty.
The Portland Fire Department says it has support teams in place to work with its members who are struggling with Flynn's death.
Anyone interested in donating in Flynn's honor can do so at Portland Firefighters Burn Foundation.