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Northshore Harbormasters Association News


Sunday search made of harbor.

Sunday search made of harbor waters Firefighters, U.S. Coast Guard, police and Harbormasters from Beverly and Salem searched under the Veterans Memorial Bridge for two days after a out of town motorist reporting seeing a man on the bridge’s highest point. Rescue crews were originally called to the area of the bridge, which leads to Salem over the Danvers River, on Sunday, April 24, at about 9:30 p.m. They searched into the evening using heat seeking camera, boats and helicopters. The search continued on Monday but turned up nothing. Police said they considered the report credible, and one witness gave police and extensive written statement of what she saw.

Posted on April 29th, 2005 by dan in North Shore


North Shore Harbormaster NEWEST Certified Harbormasters

2005 Newest Certified Northshore Harbormasters
On April 8, 2005 five Harbormasters from the North Shore sat for the final exam to complete their 351 hour MCJ approved training course. Karen Abbott of Groveland, Paul Hogg of Newburyport, Joe Montalto and Chuck Famolare III of Winthrop and Ron Petoff of Rockport. These five harbormasters successfully completed the required hours of criminal justice training, officer survival, laws pertaining to harbormasters, OCAT, boating rules of the road, navigation, on the water training, just to name a few of the required course. This course required hard work and lots of dedication. Congratulations to you all!

Posted on April 8th, 2005 by rosemary in North Shore,Rockport


More for moorings

 Dinah Cardin/ dcardin@cnc.com
Friday, March 25, 2005

 

It was only a matter of time before Amesbury officials considered charging boaters who call their waters home port. That was obvious. Every other municipality around them charges boaters to tie onto a mooring or dock.

     But who thought it would be this complicated?

 

     For now, Jack Bailey, a third-generation harbormaster in Amesbury, runs the department from his own house on a budget of $7,500 a year. There, the river sparkles through the sliding glass doors of his family den that doubles as his home office


 

     This is where he processes the free boating and docking permits. To obtain them, boaters have historically gone straight to Bailey’s home or utilized the good, old-fashioned postal service to renew their permits, sending the under-budgeted town employee a self-addressed, stamped envelope. It was casual. No money even changed hands, so what’s the fuss?

 

     Over the years, when boaters have called to inquire about the town’s mooring and docking fees, they have been more than a little shocked to find this service is F-R-E-E.

 

     "I always thought it was nice, something you didn’t have to pay for," says Bailey. "It wasn’t necessary at the time."

 

     But that has changed and with it, so has the job of this mostly volunteer department made up of people with day jobs. Being the harbormaster is Amesbury is becoming more demanding, as the waterway is more crowded than it was 15 or 20 years ago. About 400 boats are docked or moored in Amesbury and many of the owners are from out of town.

 

     "It’s been a lot of work for myself and past harbormasters to make sure people are complying with state and local regulations," he says. "You can’t have people putting moorings in just anywhere. It’s a way of keeping things under control. But it’s becoming busier and busier. It takes more time to do the paperwork."

 

     So as docks go into the water in the next couple of weeks, Amesbury’s Municipal Council will be making a decision whether to approve the proposal before them – that motorized boats moored or docked in Amesbury for more than two weeks a year will be charged $3 per linear foot, unless they are smaller than 16 feet. In that case, there is a fixed fee of $20.

 

     And this is going to make Bailey’s life a whole lot more interesting.

 

     "We’ll have to physically walk the docks," Bailey says. "There’s no other way to do it."

 

     No other way to check for the adhesive stickers on the starboard side of a vessel’s transom, which will be issued in a different color every year, indicating that all taxes and fees have been paid.

 

     The proposal has come under fire from some local marina operators, whose jobs stand to get quite a bit more complicated if the bylaw is passed. But it’s a necessity, says Bailey, because even if the town doesn’t raise the funds, aquatic activities like fishing, water skiing, boating and sailing will continue to gain in popularity.

 

     "They’re not making any more water," he says, "but they are making a lot more boats."

 

     Old school operator

 

     For now, the town’s 20-year-old government-issued boat is kept at Bailey’s home. His department spent hundreds of hours, he says, rebuilding the engine. He’s out on the water seven days a week, but also manages a hauling operation at a marina in Chelsea, making his presence on the water part-time.

 

     Sometimes the stay-at-home harbormaster even patrols for speeding boaters from his backyard.

 

     "If I’m mowing my lawn out there in a T-shirt and shorts, sweatin’ like a stuck pig," says Bailey, gesturing to his back yard, "I’ll jump in my boat and go get them."

 

     Occasionally boaters will ask to see some I.D. from this non-uniformed man, sometimes in his own boat with an added blue light.

 

     "They’re not stupid, just ignorant," he says of speeding boaters who don’t understand the damage caused to docks and other boats by the rollicking wake behind them.

 

     Meanwhile, the North Shore Harbormaster Association, made up of harbormasters from Winthrop up to Newburyport, doesn’t know what to make of Amesbury.

 

     "The norm is to have a fee and Amesbury is out of the norm if they don’t have a permit fee," says Dan McPherson, Beverly Harbormaster and current president of the organization.

 

     Further down the coast, in communities like Beverly, Salem, Marblehead and Danvers, there have been fees since the late ’80s and early ’90s, he says. The intent was to help offset the cost of the harbormaster’s department, so that a resident without a boat isn’t paying to fund something that doesn’t affect them.

 

     "All (area harbormasters) agree we see more boats and more boat traffic no matter where you go," says McPherson. "If Captain Jack Bailey thinks  there needs to be more presence, then I believe that."

 

     When its members go to increase their fees and add to their budgets, they look at towns of comparable size that seem to be taking in some revenue.

 

     Amesbury, to them, is a mystery.

 

     "Because nobody works for nothing, except me," says Bailey.

 

     And nobody has volunteer assistants who work free, who buy their own uniforms and their own gasoline for their boats, except for Bailey.

 

     "It’s a labor of love," says the man who has been on the river his whole life, assisting his father in the ’70s and taking over the part-time position in 1994, when the annual budget was $500.

 

     Bailey is aided by his son, a police officer, who acts as a liaison between the harbormaster’s department and the police department. And those who use the waterway have made quiet donations over the years. You could say it’s been pretty old school.

 

     Vote to fee

 

     That could change, with the Finance Committee in Amesbury expected to review the proposal for the "waterway management fees" at its Wednesday night meeting, and the Ordinance Committee tackling it on Thursday. Depending on their recommendations, the Municipal Council could take it up at its next meeting on April 12.

 

     James Chandler, the District 1 councilor responsible for drafting the fee proposal, has been ambitious, says Bailey, in his push to get it going for this season. The town will be hard pressed to get the program up and running before boating season starts, he says.

 

     Still, it’s nothing new. Bailey initially submitted this proposal in the mid-’90s and thought it would gain more attention then. But now, he says he has the support of a few councilors and he thinks it will pass, if for no other reason than because of tight budgets all around.

 

     The impetus for the fees, says Chandler, is the unfair usage of taxpayer’s money. In other words, someone who lives on a farm should not have to pay for a boater’s activities on the river.

 

     "We’re always needing revenue in town and sometimes revenues aren’t used equally," he says. "We just think it’s more fair that the people who are using these services are paying for them. Not that I like to tax myself, but I’m on the river and we need protection and support. We’re sort of late getting into it. Some people have come up river to escape it. Haverhill is also going to do a bill this year."

 

     It is usually a surprise to many that Amesbury has gone so long without charging, says Bailey.

 

     This could be because almost 100 percent of the town’s waterfront is privately owned. Unlike other waterfront communities, who work to keep their municipally owned waterfronts clean and accessible to the public, there is very little town-owned waterfront here. There is no waiting list for moorings, because unless a boater knows a land owner who allows crossing over their land, people couldn’t get out to their boat.

 

     The only piece of town-owned land with access to the river is the Merrimac Street boat ramp by Larry’s Marina. Residents may use it to launch their boat from a trailer. But only those with resident stickers may park there. There are no commercial moorings because of the access issue. But just because moorings or docks are on private property doesn’t mean boaters won’t be paying.

 

     The collected revenue will go into a waterway improvement fund and gentrify the harbormaster’s department, letting them afford an assistant harbormaster or two, says Chandler.

 

     "We’ve been getting away with Jack using his own boat. This will give a pool of money," for down the road expenses like buying a new boat or fixing the town boat ramp, he says. "We want to build up some money in this fund, so we have money available."

 

     Marina malaise

 

     On a recent sunny afternoon at Larry’s Marina, white shrink-wrapped boats were still surrounded by snow. But orange buoys, nylon dock line, polishing clothes and Snappy Teak boat wax awaited boat owners, who will soon show up to ready their vessels for the year.

 

     As long as the weather cooperates, April 1 will signal the boating season. Marina owners eagerly anticipate winter’s end and spring’s beginning, to get the docks in place and the slips filled.

 

     Inside, employee Dave Taylor speaks about the proposed ordinance that will affect him, both as a boat owner and as someone who works at a marina. The new waterway fees that may be levied by the town will make boating more costly and, says Taylor, add confusing paperwork at his job.

 

     "Now boating is becoming a luxury thing," says Taylor. "A boat now, with the economy and job market the way it is, isn’t just something everyone can go out and buy."

 

     The marina’s owner, Larry Kelcourse, points out the good work done by the Coast Guard and to the federal waterways fee that was done away with years ago. He agrees the fees will add to the workload and he wonders if marina owners might pitch in to the waterways fund, making the permits and the extra work unnecessary.

 

     The problem with marinas chipping in money, says bylaw sponsor Chandler, is that it wouldn’t require the marinas to provide valuable information to the town that will help get often-ignored excise tax bills paid.

 

     "The problem is we need those lists so we can make sure boats at the marina are paying those taxes," says Chandler. "If we see Blue Moon or some boat has no sticker, we can now go to the list and see who Blue Moon is, their number, address and write them out a ticket. They (marinas) have all that information. Most of those slips have been reserved already."

 

     But this proposal should not have been written without a prior conversation with those who run the marinas, says Jim Kelcourse, Larry’s son, who was raised at the marina the family has owned 30 years.

 

     "I do believe the harbormaster does a good job. Jack’s a nice guy. He has a lot of responsibility," he says. "But my question is, why haven’t the marinas been approached first to address this matter?"

 

      Prior to the bylaw going for a vote, the father and son say they wish they could sit down with the harbormaster and the bill’s sponsor.

 

     Dan Swift, owner of Hatters Point Marina, which opened last year near the Hatters Point condominiums, is more welcoming of the fees, as long as they keep Harbormaster Jack Bailey doing his job.

 

      "I know that I would be very concerned if Jack would decide not to do it and we wouldn’t have anyone to do it. So if it keeps his interest to do it, that’s great," says Swift. "If that doesn’t happen, we may not maintain the same level of service. Even if its just to maintain it, it’s better than no harbormaster. My guess is it probably would help him even more out on the river or maybe he can get some help."

 

     He credits Bailey for keeping tabs on things, policing the wake zone and making sure "the crazies stay calm."

 

      Most of those who dock at his marina will be affected, since those in Amesbury two weeks or more will be assessed the fee and 99 percent of those at his marina are there for the whole season, says Swift, who charges $95 a foot the season.

 

     "I’m sure some people are not going to be happy," he says. "Some people will think it’s just the cost of having a boat. You’re going to get it all."

 

     For his part, Swift says his support for the fees is boosted if that money can stay in the harbormaster’s department and not go to the town’s budget.

 

     Meanwhile, the summer season is crucial for marinas. It’s the money-making time. Kelcourse points out the increased tourist dollars brought into the community from boaters. But he adds that summer boating still isn’t as crowded or raucous here as it is elsewhere.

 

     "This is a small town. This isn’t Newburyport."

Posted on March 27th, 2005 by dan in North Shore


Police divers pull suicide from Salem Harbor

Jill Harmacinski
Staff writer

 

SALEM — The body of a suicidal man reported missing in January was found yesterday in Salem Harbor.

Salem harbormasters, with assistance from the Salem police dive team, recovered the 36-year-old man’s body at 5:15 p.m., according to a police report.

The body was brought to shore at the Congress Street public dock, police said.

On Jan. 17, the man left a note for his family saying he planned to harm himself near Forest River Park on Salem Harbor. Police spent three days searching for the man, braving frigid temperatures and icy conditions.

Police did not release the man’s name last night.

Posted on March 21st, 2005 by dan in North Shore


Revere Accepts New Assistant

Harbormaster Paul Pisano appointed Lou Peterson from Revere as new Assistant to the Revere Team.

Lou brings a lifelong commitment to the water and valuable boating and marine equiptment experiense to the Revere team.

Welcome aboard Lou.
PjP

Posted on March 21st, 2005 by paul in Revere


Dolphin Stranded

dolph 2.jpg

Dolphin stranded under

bridge

 
By JILL HARMACINSKI STAFF WRITER
 
SALEM – Concerned neighbors dialed 911. An off-duty firefighter donned a survival suit. And har­bormasters from two cities raced into action.  But in the end, nothing could save a starving, white-sided dol­phin stranded under the Beverly Salem Bridge yesterday morning.  "There’s really not much we could do for him, so we put him to sleep," said James Rice, a senior biologist from the New England Aquarium who made an emer­gency visit to Salem.
White-sided dolphins are not un­usual in this area, but they are known to travel in large groups, known as pods, and typically stay out to sea. So just before 8 a.m., when a solitary dolphin was spot­ted alone near shallow water, it was not a good sign.  "He may have come in as a last ditch effort … maybe to find some­thing to eat or find other dolphins of his species," Rice said.
Police said several neighbors from Ames and Hubon streets, near the bridge, called for help af­ter they spotted the dolphin stranded in the mud on the Salem side of the bridge.
Off-duty Beverly firefighter Bri­an Tamilio, who owns a nearby business, donned a bright yellow survival suit and jumped into the shallow water under the bridge.
Meanwhile, local harbormas­ters Peter Gifford from Salem and Dan McPherson from Beverly re­sponded by boat. Off-duty Beverly fire Capt. James Maggiacomo, Tamilio’s buddy, also paddled around the dolphin in a wooden skiff.
After gently coaxing the dolphin back into the water, Tamilio held the l00-pound mammal for more than two hours in the 38-degree water. At 9:30 a.m., the Aquarium’s Marine Rescue Unit arrived in a white animal ambulance. Shortly after, Rice said, they decided to eu­thanize the dolphin. He was a year old.
Tamilio said he was disappointed but glad the animal didn’t have to suffer any longer.  "They put him out of his mis­ery," he said "I just tried to keep him comfortable until the profes­sionals came."  Rice said the dolphin was ”not healthy" and was emaciated. An autopsy will be conducted to see how the dolphin died.  The cause may have been a respiratory infection or stomach blockage.  Loneliness may also have been a factor, Rice said.  Like humans, he said, white­-sided dolphins are social animals that depend on others in their species for survival.
 
           
 

­

Posted on March 18th, 2005 by seasonticket in North Shore


A LONG NIGHT FOR HARBORMASTERS

A rough night on the water for harbormasters
 
BY BFN CASSELMAN  STAFFWRITER
 
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
 

Please see HARBOR, Page A8 … ­
 
. Continued fram Page A1
 
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 seasonticket in North Shore


New Harbormaster comes aboard

 Alan Burke Staff writer MARBLEHEAD — When he was a boy, Charles Dalferro’s big brother worked for the Marblehead Transport Co. And when there were empty seats, Dalferro boarded for free, taking the ride from stop to stop, getting to know every corner of one of the world’s most beautiful harbors. It was useful experience for the man who became harbormaster on Feb. 6 after more than 17 years as an assistant. Dalferro, 53, comes aboard at the beginning of a new era. The recently completed harbormaster’s office at Tucker’s Wharf includes showers, laundry facilities and electrical power outlets for pleasure boats. It’s part of an effort to make Marblehead Harbor more attractive to the fleet of wealthy boaters who cruise the Northeast coast each summer. "It’s going to bring in a lot more people than we’re bringing in now," Dalferro says. Of course, he can take a long view, having lived on this harbor for more than half a century. "You could pretty much water ski when I was a kid," he says with a chuckle. Today the waiting list for moorings can keep you waiting more than a decade and 1,000-plus boaters pay $10 each year just to stay on it. Meanwhile, the summer armada seems shoehorned in, causing a forest of bobbing masts. Yet, thanks to the moorings, as well as town-owned boat yards and the folks who use the new washing machines, Dalferro runs one of the few departments that costs taxpayers nothing. "You don’t pay for it unless you own a boat," he says. His budget is projected at $500,000, but he expects to raise at least $200,000 more — which goes into the town coffers. Dalferro gives his predecessor, Warner Hazell, and the Harbors and Waters Board the credit for his department’s economic health. "(Hazell) left this place better than when he took it over," Dalferro says. Which matters. Marblehead Harbor is no afterthought in this town — it’s the soul of the community, the rockbound jewel that drew the first English settler nearly 400 years ago. Dalferro knows about that, too. On his mother’s side, his family tree stretches back to Marblehead’s earliest days and includes names like Johnson and Chapman. The Dalferros, meanwhile, hail from Lynn and before that Ellis Island and before that Florence, Italy. Dalferro bought his first boat as a young man, a skiff with an outboard. "It cost me a pile of money, as boats usually do. I did a lot of fishing back in the days when you could go out into the harbor and fill a small bucket with flounder," he says. After attending Marblehead schools, he decided against college, opting for carpentry. Unfortunately, in the 1970s, jobs were scarce. He went to work for a high-tech company in Waltham building artificial heart and lung machines. Layoffs sent him back to town, first to Hood Sailmakers and later to what was then called the Selectmen’s Department. He did various jobs around town, rising about as high as he could go in that department. With two children and a wife, Diane, he next moved to become assistant harbormaster. Over the last several years, he was assumed to be Hazell’s likely successor. With some prodding, Dalferro admits that the job can be dangerous — and not merely because of surly boaters. "When you’re out there during a storm and you’ve got a boat on the rocks … there’s some hairy moments. Things happen fast," he says. The new harbormaster has so far not set long-term goals. He explains that he’s still getting his bearings, settling in. His first task was hiring an assistant, F. Webb Russell, another townie with experience in the boatyards. The harbormaster stresses that he will have an open-door policy for anyone who wants to speak with him. "I just like to go where things lead," Dalferro says, sitting in his new office across from a framed photo of the USS Constitution at Marblehead Harbor in 1997. He can be seen in the picture and he points to a tiny figure on one of the patrol boats surrounding the famous frigate. "I’m pretty pleased with the way things have gone," he says with a smile

Posted on March 14th, 2005 by dan in North Shore


TRUCK DRIVES OFF BRIDGE

TRUCK.jpgSALEM A 22-year-old Bev­erly man was killed yesterday when his pickup truck careened over a Jersey barrier at a sharp turn on the Beverly-­Salem Bridge, dropping 30 feet into the water below. Police believe up to nine hours passed between the time the crash occurred and when Bryan Brouillett’s body was found An Ames Street resident called police just after 7 a.m. yesterday after looking out the window and spotting a red-and ­white Ford F -350 pickup on its wheels, jammed in low-tide mud underneath the bridge. Brouilleti was found inside the truck with his seat belt fastened, police said. Police believe Brouillett, of 113 Colon St, drowned after his truck went over the Jersey barrier on the Salem side of the bridge. He was heading toward Salem and failed to make the sharp, left­ hand turn onto Bridge Street at the bottom of the bridge. The truck, which had a high suspen­sion system and measured 7 feet tall, went over the bridge and then submerged in the darkness of high-tide water below. "We think he just took it too fast and couldn’t negotiate that corner," said Salem Patrolman John Doyle, who is reconstruct­ing the accident. "It was a high truck, and when it hit that Jer­sey barrier, it was able to go right over."

 

Please see BRIDGE, Page AB

Posted on March 14th, 2005 by seasonticket in North Shore


Harbormasters News

Here’s a new feature for our web site, where news will be posted about our Association and its member departments. Our Association’s Harbormasters will be able to publish relevant waterfront news pertaining to their cities or towns.

We will also attempt to post pertinent news and notices that effect boaters and the waterfront in general on the Northshore of Massachusetts, as well as Massachusetts in general, or nationwide if the news would effect our area.

We hope that this will prove to be a valuable resource to our boaters, our communities, and the public in general.

Posted on March 5th, 2005 by Administrator in North Shore