WELLFLEET — A surfer visiting from Maine died after being pulled from the ocean at Lecount Hollow Beach on April 20, according to the Cape and Islands district attorney’s office.
Martin Mackey, 48, of Brunswick was unconscious after falling off his surfboard on that Wednesday morning. Local police said several people called 911 around 10:45 a.m. to report a surfer face down in the water.
Mackey was pulled out of the water by other surfers and the first officer at the scene, Mark Braun. Wellfleet EMS personnel began lifesaving measures before taking the victim by ambulance to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis. He was pronounced dead at the hospital, according to the Wellfleet police.
A detailed obituary was published in the Brunswick Times Record on Tuesday, April 26.
Mackey was a teacher, school principal, and statewide leader in the areas of alternative education and special education in Maine, according to the obituary. He first worked with students at wilderness therapy programs in Montana, which is also where he went to college and met his future wife, Jennifer. He became a teacher, vice principal, and then principal at the REAL School in Brunswick, which serves students who face life disruptions such as homelessness, addiction, foster care, or expulsion. In 2020, Mackey became director of the state of Maine’s Rethinking Responsive Education Venture, and he co-founded an organization called the Collaborative for Perpetual Innovation.
He was an outdoor enthusiast who loved “human-powered adventures” such as canoeing, backpacking, cycling, climbing, and surfing. His wife and his children, Elise and Wyeth, joined him on many of these adventures, and, his obituary noted, “Martin spent his last moments surfing with his son Wyeth off the coast of Cape Cod.”
His obituary also said that “Martin was beloved by students, faculty, and staff alike, and was even voted ‘most likely to carry us all out of a burning building’ by his colleagues. He made everyone he met feel like the most important person in the world.”