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