Lobster champion, Bean heiress, donates $3M to LifeFlight program to help buy 3rd helicopter

A champion of the Maine lobster industry and an heiress to the L.L. Bean outdoors retailer has announced a $3 million donation to the state's LifeFlight Foundation.

Linda Bean's gift announced Thursday will help the organization that flies sick and injured patients to hospitals buy a third helicopter.

Bean said in a statement that Maine is home to many industries — including fishing, farming and forestry — that are inherently dangerous and are often carried out in remote areas and a helicopter may be able to help an injured person much faster than a land-based ambulance.

LifeFlight Maine currently has two helicopters based in Bangor and Lewiston that serve about 1,600 people per year, but still gets more calls that it can answer.

Bean owns a lobster processing plant.