Rockport Harbormaster
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Harbormaster & Waterfront Committee Reports

Annual Reports for year ending December 31, 2013.

Rockport Harbor Department
2013 Annual Report

2013 proved to be a very active year for the Rockport Harbor Department. We will share the most interesting and exciting events in this report:

Early in the spring work was done on T Wharf and around the Sandy Bay Yacht Club with much needed piling replacement (24) and several new ladders.

-On April 27 late in the afternoon the radio lit up with calls concerning a boat on fire in Rockport Harbor. The harbormasters responded to find the 40' F/V Kalyn D fully involved with thick heavy black smoke. The vessel was inside the harbor and the owner of the vessel and the crew was preparing to jump off the stern. We came along side and took them off the burning vessel. The fully involved fire continued as the boat was pushed down into the arm of the breakwater. At that point from shore the Rockport Fire Department was able to shoot water from the top of Bearskin Neck onto the burning vessel. Unfortunately the boat burned to the water line and was a total loss but all persons involved were safe.

-May 7 Floats: The harbor department and a group of waterfront volunteers assisted Great Eastern Crane Service in putting in close to 100 floats that then were brought to their respected harbors and secured for the boating season.

-On May 10 a medical emergency brought Rockport Ambulance, fire and harbormaster personnel together when a person fell on the mid section of the Bearskin Neck breakwater. An extrication was performed and a smooth transition was made from the rocks to the harbor patrol boat and into the waiting ambulance at T Wharf.

-On Jun2 we received an emergency call from a local fisherman who noticed an 83' power vessel heading for the rocks near the Eden Road section of town. Upon our arrival we found the 83' vessel rolling on the rocks with one man onboard who was less then interested in being saved. After some fast communication with the gentleman we pulled the vessel off the rocks and out into Thacher's bay to safety. The USCG 47' arrived and towed the vessel back to Gloucester to deal with the boat and boat owner.

-Pigeon Cove Harbor: During early July it was necessary to relocate a number of moorings in Pigeon Cove Harbor. This operation took over 2 weeks and we thank the boat owners involved for their cooperation and understanding of the situation.

-On July 12th 3- 44' Navy training vessels arrived for a weekend hosted by the Navy Committee and the citizens of the Town of Rockport.

Later in July the movie production, Olive Kittredge, came to town and used the entrance of Pigeon Cove Harbor for their water and boating portion of the film.

-On August 10th Illumination night brought the first ever fireworks display to Sandy Bay from the top of Granite Pier. The weather and sea conditions were perfect for the event and a great time was had from land or sea.

In August sharks were sighted at local beaches and a diligent effort was made to assist an injured 8' Blue shark. The shark was corralled on Front Beach and carefully loaded onto the Rockport Patrol boat and transported out to the outer breakwater and released. The shark swam off with not so much as a thank you!

In late August a group of divers discovered a 20' torpedo between Straightsmouth Island and Thacher's Island. The Navy, Coast Guard and Rockport Harbormasters dealt with the situation. The torpedo was exploded by the Navy dive team and the area was cleared for boating traffic.

Later in the summer while on routine patrol for shellfish violations a situation presented itself at Old Garden beach. Two divers had violations for 30 short lobsters and unmarked gear. These divers later went to court and were charge $300.00 per short lobster.

-October 18 the floats were taken out of the water by the harbormasters and the same group of dedicated volunteers.

-October 25, a stormy night, a disaster was unfolding about 3 miles off Thacher's Island. The 65' fishing vessel, Terra Nova, with 2 persons on board was having difficulty in the heavy seas and bad weather. As time progressed the skipper radioed that they were sinking. Co harbormaster Scott Story got underway to assist the coast guard 47' cutter, helicopter and other fishing vessels in the area. It was determined the vessel had gone down and 2 persons were in the water. One of the 2 men was spotted by Harbormaster Story and brought on board our patrol boat. This survivor was brought by Rockport to Gloucester Station to a waiting ambulance.

-On December 7th Rockport Harbormasters escorted Santa Clause into Rockport Harbor on the Tupper family's fishing vessel Freemantle Doctor. It was an annual event that ended a very active boating season.

Along with the above activities the harbormasters assisted over a hundred boaters with different situations, welcomed a large number of boaters to the harbor as overnight guests and maintained the routine activities of the office.

Harbormasters Lesch and Harbormaster Story remain active in the Massachusetts Harbormaster Association and the North Shore Harbormaster Chapter of the MHA along with being appointed to the Governor's Harbormaster Training council.

Rockport Harbormasters/Shellfish Officers
Rosemary Lesch, Scott Story, Ron Petoff and Story Reed


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