Northshore Harbormasters Association News


A rough night on the water for harbormasters
Colliding boats, thick fog and even a brawl on Baker’s Island kept harbormasters hopping Wednesday night.
By the time it was all over, they’d rescued a drifting lobster boat, bro­ken up a figbt and had one man arrested
Salem Harbormaster Peter Gifford said the fight erupted after five men fishing near Baker’s Island said some islanders began throwing rocks at their boat. The islanders denied it.
Whatever the reason, the boaters landed on the pier at Baker’s Island and confronted the is­landers. Things quickly turned ugly. Island resi­dents called police shortly before 11 p.m., and Beverly harbormaster officers responded while

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Assistant Salem Harbormaster Pat Mulligan ferried Salem police to the island
Brett Co1lins, 22, of South Hamil­ton, a member of the island-side group, was arrested and charged with assault aud battery with a dangerous weapon – a golf club. The victim, a 22-year-old Beverly man, lost several teeth and hit his head on the ground.
    "That had to hurt," Beverly Har­bormaster Dan McPherson said.
    The man declined medical atten­tion.
Gifford said the incident was un­characteristic for the normally peaceful haven, where around 60 families have summer homes. "That’s the first brawl I can re­member out there," Gifford said. "There’s usually nothing this serious."
Hot waters
The Baker’s Island brawl wasn’t the only excitement on Wednes­day. There were numerous inci­dents, possibly because of a pea­soup fog that made for extremely limited visibility.
” You couldn’t see 5 feet in front of your face," Gifford said. "It couldn’t have been worse conditions."
Beverly had a particularly eventful evening. Shortly before the island fight, harbormasters had to deal with two boats that col­lided in the fog. And just as they were responding to that call, an­other came in: a 35-foot lobster boat was drifting free in the har­bor.
"You certainly don’t want some­thing like that floating around on its own," McPherson said.
The two incidents may have been related. McPherson said he thinks one of the boats involved in the collision cut the lobster boat’s mooring line with its propeller.
A tired-sounding McPherson said the busy night was a surprise because the summer has been so quiet until now – probably be, cause unseasonably cool weather has kept many boaters on land.
"I think the warm weather of August is starting to catch up with us here," McPherson said. "As they say, never a dull moment."

Posted on March 15th, 2005 by Administrator in North Shore