Pictured Above: At the Sept. 18 Rock the Fireboat fundraiser. |. Sag Harbor Partnership photo

Sag Harbor is a major port, but this summer a fire on a 20-foot boat reminded the community that more work is needed to protect the village from marine-based fires. 

According to the Sag Harbor Partnership, which is helping raise money for a new fireboat for the Sag Harbor Fire Department, the village serves more than 1,000 vessels up to 225 feet in length each year, which carry thousands of  gallons of fuel, as well as mega-yachts of more than 300  feet that carry upwards of 70,000 gallons of fuel. 

The all-volunteer Sag Harbor Fire Department protects more than 30 miles of coastline, from Jessup Neck to Barcelona Point.   

“It lacks the minimum standard equipment to adequately protect lives, property, and our coastline from  emergency events,” according to the Sag Harbor Partnership, which held a “Rock the Boat” barbecue with the fire department Sept. 18 to raise funds for the new fireboat, which is expected to cost around $650,000. The fundraiser raised $80,000.

“Due to a critical lack of badly needed equipment the SHFD’s only vessel offered no personal protection to  firefighters from the heat or smoke of burning chemicals,” according to the Partnership. “In addition, the department lacks adequate  pumps to extinguish fires from a safe distance or foam capabilities to extinguish fuel burning on the water’s  surface. SHFD’s current equipment doesn’t meet the National Fire Protection Association’s minimum standards  or requirements.”

Donations can be made online at www.sagharborpartnership.org/rock-the-boat.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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