Annual Reports for year ending December 31, 2007.
Rockport Harbor Department
Town Report 2007
The highlight of the 2007 season for the Harbor Department
was the October 12-15th visit by the 454’ long Frigate USS Boone. Prior to the
arrival of the USS Boone the summer had been routinely busy and relatively
The harbor department shifted into high gear to end the
regular season and start the process for the visit of the frigate USS Taylor.
Several months prior to the arrival of the frigate the harbormasters met with US
Navy officers and security persons to inspect the area in and around T Wharf and
Sandy Bay. There were numerous phone calls/emails for the final arrangements for
the arrival of this vessel and the support vessels that accompany such a large
"floating city". The sewer barge and water supply vessels, the 85’ Privateer out
of Gloucester, which was the liberty and transport vessel, were all arranged and
ready for the arrival of the USS Taylor. The only glitch was the USS Taylor
while enroute to Cape Ann experienced problems and had to return back to its
home port in Florida. At that time the USS Boone was dispatched from its regular
duties off the coast of Florida to head for Rockport - the weekend was still on.
It was full steam ahead at 27 knots to be able to keep their promise to arrive
in Rockport on the designated date of October 12, 2007.
The harbor department had alerted the local fishermen of the
coordinates of USS Taylor only to find that the USS Boone's captain preferred
another area of Sandy Bay. It was anchors away and the USS Boone was secure in a
heavy NW wind with the support vessels jockeying for positions around the large
Navy vessel. That Friday evening a Meet and Greet Reception was planned, on the
USS Boone, for the officers of the Boone and local dignitaries. The weather was
still windy and NW which made it difficult for the liberty ship to land along
side the Boone with the Rockport Town officials. It was left up to the Rockport
Harbormasters to bring in the officers from the ship to the reception which was
held at the Sandy Bay Yacht Club. The harbormasters gave the officers a wild and
wet ride in from the ship which made for a memorable arrival to Rockport.
In preparation of the ship the main float at T Wharf was
designated as the "fleet landing" site. With a great deal of ingenuity the
harbormasters secured a third float onto the existing town float and beefed up
the anchor system to support the 85' Privateer. The State Police Dive team along
with Navy and local police secured T Wharf as the fleet landing site. The
Privateer ran from 6am to 2am as the Liberty ship and also transported the
public out to the USS Boone on morning and afternoon trips on both Saturday and
Sunday. Over 1600 citizens got to tour the Boone along with special trips for
Veterans from all branches of the service.
The town's Navy Visit Committee arranged numerous activities
for the men and women of the ship ranging from a softball game to kayak races on
Front Beach. One of the most talked about and popular activity was hosted by the
Pigeon Cove Fishermen which entailed going out on a lobster boat, hauling the
traps, bringing in the lobsters and cooking and eating them right on Pigeon Cove
wharf. Rumor has it one Navy man managed to eat 8 lobsters. A great time was had
by all who participated. Thanks to the Pigeon Cove, Rockport and Granite Pier
lobstermen who were able to help with the Lobster Fest.
On Monday October 15 the USS Boone got underway with a little
help from the Rockport Harbormasters to sail off into the wild blue yonder. We
all look forward to another Navy visit in the fall of 2008.
After the departure of the Navy we continued to wrap up the
season by dismantling the Rockport Town float (not an easy task) and securing
the rest of the floats and removing Navy anchorage buoys from the water. We then
had the good fortune to have the Burlington Scuba Club do a Saturday (in the
water) clean up of the north basin, around the Motif and the base of Rockport
Harbor. The debris, from years of activity in the harbor, was brought ashore and
disposed of by the DPW. This was a great way to finish up the season.
The Harbormasters continue to be active in the Massachusetts
Harbormaster Association and North Shore Harbormaster Chapter. Scott Story was
elected president of the North Shore Harbormaster Chapter and Rosemary Lesch
Secretary. Both harbormasters coordinate the harbormaster training program
during the winter months which is held at the Salem Police Department. This is
60 hours a year of maritime and law enforcement training each year with the
total number of complete training hours 351. These classes are held on Tuesday
nights with on the water training in the spring.
The Rockport Harbormasters would like to take this opportunity
to thank local departments for all the cooperation that is needed to safely
perform the duties of each department. One example is a recent event in early
December (the night of our first snow fall). The Rockport Ambulance was
dispatched to the end of Bearskin Neck for a person who had fallen with a
possible broken leg. Upon the ambulance arrival it was clear the person was
quite a distance out on the ice covered breakwater and more rescue resources
were need. The Rockport Harbormasters responded with their boat, the fire
department was called for extra help lifting and possible use of a fire truck,
the forest fire was considered for lighting (it was now dark). In the end the
person was skillfully extricated off the rocks onto to the patrol boat and
transported to the only float and ramp available in the harbor. The patient, on
a long board and secure in a stokes stretcher, was then safely slid (with the
help of many rescue workers) up the ramp to our waiting ambulance. All emergency
services were called upon: ambulance, harbor, police, fire, and forest fire -
all working together safely and no rescue worker was injured during the event.
This is a true testament to all the dedicated men and women of the emergency
services in the Town of Rockport.
|Assisted the Public
|Search & Rescue
|Diver in Distress
Rosemary Lesch, Scott Story, Ron Petoff & Story Reed