Rockport Harbormaster
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Harbormaster & Waterfront Committee Reports

Annual Reports for year ending December 31, 2014.

Rockport Harbor Department
2014 Annual Report

2014 opened with a string of winter storms, winds and sea conditions were from the NNE 40-50 mph for several weeks. On January 3rd one of the largest waves washed over the Bearskin Neck breakwater and crashed down over the #6 day marker at the entrance to Rockport Harbor. The force of the water pushed the huge block with day marker structure attached into the water. This storm continued to damage an already damaged breakwater along with causing problems at Granite Pier and Pigeon Cove harbors.

In early spring plans with the Army Corp of Engineers and the town of Rockport were finalized, after many years of work, the bid to rebuild the Bearskin Neck breakwater was awarded to Classic Site Solutions, the work would be started in 2014.

Later in the spring the harbormasters and a crew from the Sandy Bay Yacht club contracted a crane service to launch the town & yacht club floats (over 100) and the volunteer crews towed them to and secured them in the designated harbors.

On May 18 the Rockport Ambulance hosted its annual Emergency Service Day on T Wharf. All fire apparatus, ambulances, forest fire trucks, police cruisers, harbor patrol boats and USCG Station Gloucesterís 44' life boat were on display and open to the public for tours.

The summer months proved to be active with a busy 4th of July and then the arrival of 4-44' Navy sailing vessels that traveled to Rockport in mid-July.

On August 9th the second annual fireworks display was executed from the top of Granite Pier. The weather was perfect with flat seas conditions and a high tide. These conditions made for a spectacular display from land or sea.

During the season several boating incidents caused problems: one was a 45í sail boat that had gone aground in the gap between Straightsmouth Island and the main land. There were no injuries and with some coaxing and assistance from the Rockport Harbor patrol boat the vessel floated free and was back underway under its own power. A mayday call brought us back to Straightsmouth Island later in August to assist a 25' power vessel that had gone aground, in a heavy NW wind, on the island. The 2 persons on board were safely taken off the island and the boat was removed by a private contractor the next day.

The summer continued to be busy with several medical calls, a boat fire, and kayaks in distress along with assisting numerous boaters for a variety of situations. A large number of transient boaters came and went over the 6 months of our active season: day trippers and overnight guests ranging in size from 16' to over 80' in length.

October and November brought needed work around the harbors, 22 pilings were installed at Bradley Wharf by C. White Marine Inc. Danvers, Ma. This work was done from a barge and tug-the job was completed the first week of November. The Rockport DPW continues to work with the harbormasters to maintain the ladders and floats, this is an endless job.

Santa Clause arrived on December 6th aboard the Freemantle Doctor which was escorted by the Rockport patrol boat, Alert 2 and the USCG 44' motor life boat.

The Bearskin Neck Breakwater/Army Corp of Engineers project work is continuing to prepare for the arrival of a barge and tug which will do the reconstruction on the breakwater. Large stones 14-22 ton and larger continue to be delivered to Granite Pier. Once all the materials are in place, the work will begin with the tug/barge picking up the designated stones at Granite Pier and transporting them across the bay to Rockport Harbor. The stones will be lifted off the barge and placed in assigned locations on the breakwater per the direction of Classic Solutions, Inc and the Army Corp of Engineers.

The Rockport Harbormasters continue to remain active in the Massachusetts Harbormaster Association, the North Shore Harbormaster Association and the Governors appointed Massachusetts Harbormaster Training Council. The Harbor Department is a participant in the State Clean Vessels Act-Pump Out program for over 15 years and members of the Maritime Consortium drug testing program.

Rockport Harbormasters
Rosemary Lesch, Scott Story, Ron Petoff and Story Reed


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