Annual Reports for year ending December 31, 1998.
ROCKPORT HARBOR DEPARTMENT
The Rockport Harbor Department had a busy season with a great number of
visiting boats both in the harbor and out in Sandy Bay. The season had a slow start due to
the weather. The weather and the boating season improved as the summer went on. A
northeast storm took us by surprise on a quiet Saturday in June. The above photograph
shows the Rockport Patrol boat bringing in the victims of a demasted 30' sloop. The sloop
from Rockport was participating in an off shore race from Eastern Point into Ipswich Bay.
It was off Thachers Island when its mast snapped and became disabled. On that day the
winds picked up to 40-50 kts and the seas picked up to a good 8-10. The Rockport Patrol
was called to the Thacher Island area to assist the distressed vessel as well as monitor
the safety of a dozen other sailboats participating in the race. It made for a very
eventful day, all were safely brought into Rockport.
Our Pumpout boat continues to be a benefit to all visiting boaters as
well as with those vessels in Rockport with holding tanks that must be pumped. The Clean Waters Act is proving
to be a very positive program in Massachusetts water.
The Massachusetts Criminal Justice Harbormaster training program
graduated 9 Certified Harbormasters from the North Shore. Those completing the program
have accomplished 351 hours of Criminal Justice training which includes: law enforcement,
laws pertaining to harbormasters, rules of the road, boating safety, first aid, boat
handling and on the water training. These are a few of the topics in the curriculum
covered over the 5 years it took these 9 harbormasters to complete the program. Rockport
graduated two harbormasters, Rosemary Lesch and Scott Story; Ron Petoff is working to
complete the program in the next year. Other communities with Massachusetts Certified
Harbormasters are Beverly, Salem, Danvers, Rowley and Amesbury.
The Harbor Department continues to improve the safety of the harbors by
maintaining the ladders, floats and wharves. We work closely with the DPW as they do the
repairs around the waterfront. At the present time the men of the DPW are building us a
"storage shack" at Granite Pier (it has a remarkable resemblance to the Motif
Thank you to all the Town Departments for their cooperation during the
year. We need the emergency services to work together at all times whether it is an
emergency situation or day to day activity. It is also necessary for us to work closely
with the Government agencies on the North Shore. Coast Guard Station Gloucester and the
Massachusetts Environmental Police are there when we need them, for a resource or in an
emergency situation. Thank you to all the State and local agencies and individuals that
make our Harbormaster Department run so smoothly.
Harbormasters Rosemary Lesch & Scott Story
Assistant Harbormaster Ron Petoff
HARBOR ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The Harbor Advisory Committee has been continuing work on a Harbor
Management Plan with Robert Smith as coordinator.
#1 - An ordinance that gives legal validity to the
rules of harbor usage which local officials endorse. Charlie Nichols is presently working
#2 - Harbor Committee made up of knowledgeable and
interested citizens who will contribute time and close attention.
#3 - A Harbormaster Department familiar with the
harbor, its people, and its waters, skilled in the arts of boating and mooring seamanship,
that can be relied upon to enforce regulations with even handed Justice and understanding.
#4 - A Harbor Management Plan, endorsed by the
community and its officials, realistic in its goals, thoughtfully written, and carefully
The Harbor Committee has completed a Harbormaster job description and
presented it to the Selectmen.
The Committee received two letters of resignation from the board, in
January from Charles Jones and Robert Morris. They both will be missed by the board.
Paul Fuhs Jr., Chairman
THACHER ISLAND COMMITTEE
1998 has been a somewhat frustrating year! The items that appear over
and over on the monthly agenda: SOUTH TOWER SOLARIZATION / PROPERTY TRANSFER / RAMP
The solarization project has been completed and the interior of the
South Lighthouse has been restored. The draft copy of the property transfer is being
negotiated and should be completed soon.
Thanks to efforts of many people, primarily Representative John
Tierney, there has been $250,000 set aside in the Coast Guard's Aids to Navigation budget,
specifically toward the Thacher Island ramp, and they have agreed to assist the Town in
building the concrete ramp, which should solve that problem for many years.
Paul St. Germain, a Director of the Association, has been working closely with
the National Parks Department, to have our island nominated to become a NATIONAL LANDMARK
(a step above being listed in the Register of Historic Places). This could open other
avenues of funding.
The usual hardy volunteers continued their valiant efforts of on-island
care and maintenance whenever time and weather allowed.
We are very grateful for all who have supported this effort with time,
as well as money. We still have a ways to go and are hoping for a more productive coming
John and Mary Bennett