Monday, June 30, 2008

Police: Boaters were drinking alcohol before late-night crash

Last Friday night we heard several emergency vehicles race through Lanesville and learned later that there had been a serious boating accident in the Flat Rocks area, the stretch between Lanes Cove and Folly Point.

The coastline along Cape Ann on Ipswich bay is unforgiving--except for a couple of beaches in small coves it is extremely rocky. I hope all recover fully.

Out of respect for the privacy of the people who were on the boat I have removed their names and addresses. One of the people on the boat told me that there were inaccuracies in the newspaper article but would not elaborate.

Gloucester: Police: Boaters were drinking alcohol before late-night crash

By Jessica Benson
Staff writer
June 30, 2008 06:00 am

Police say they found several beer cans scattered around the wreckage of a boat, with some of the people on board admitting they had been drinking alcohol just before the boat crashed onto rocks on Folly Point late Friday night.

Five people were taken to the hospital, with one man suffering serious injuries. It took about an hour and a half for rescuers to carry the man off the slippery, seaweed-covered rocks.

One man, was brought to Beverly Hospital and later transferred to Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center in Boston, where he was listed in good condition last night.

The others on board the boat were taken to local hospitals.

Police said the boat appeared to be a total loss, with large holes punched into the hull.

The owner was driving the 25-foot sports boat with five passengers on board when it crashed behind the Seaside Cemetery off Route 127.

Passengers blamed the foggy weather, saying they couldn't see the rocks in front of them until it was too late. When the boat crashed, the first man was thrown out of the boat, landing on the rocks about 10 feet away.

Residents in the neighborhood heard a loud crash, followed by people yelling for help. They called 911 at 10:45 p.m.

Patrolman Mark Foote was the first to arrive. He ran down a path through the brush, in complete darkness, in order to reach the wreckage. When he got to the shoreline, he saw two men out on the rocks in front of the boat. One of them was calling for him to hurry.

After scrambling across the slippery rocks, falling several times on the way, he found the first man being tended to by another passenger who had been on the boat.

The first man was conscious, though badly hurt, complaining of severe pain on the left side of his rib cage. He also had two cuts on his head.

Police and firefighters were partly in the water as they tended to him, according to Foote's report. The officer called the conditions "very dangerous."

Rescuers very slowly, and very carefully, carried him across the rocks, stopping several times to replace tired rescue workers with rested ones.

"It was a long haul," Foote wrote in his report.

Firefighters had wanted to call for a MedFlight to take the man directly into Boston for treatment, but the helicopters were not flying due to the fog that night.

Others on the boat were also hurt. The owner suffered a head injury and was taken to Beverly Hospital, as was another passenger.

The hospital reported to police in the hours after the crash that both patients had been stabilized.

Two other passengers were taken to Addison Gilbert Hospital. Both admitted to police that they had been drinking alcohol, according to Foote's report. Foote found beer cans in the water around the boat and on the nearby rocks, he said in his report.

One person did not complain of injuries. He refused medical treatment and walked away on his own, though Foote noted in his report that he appeared to be under the influence of alcohol.

After he walked off, he and another man, caused a disturbance by threatening a news photographer, according to police. He pushed the photographer, according to police, while the other man, whose father was among those injured in the crash, told the photographer not to take any more pictures or he would "wrap the camera around his neck," according to the police report.

Charges were filed against both men for being disorderly.

Police Lt. Joe Aiello released a statement over the weekend, praising the rescue efforts.

"To all involved, well done," he wrote.

However, Phil Bouchie, vice president of the firefighters union, criticized the response time, saying the closing of the Bay View fire station cost rescuers precious minutes, and left the department short-staffed. It took 13 minutes for firefighters to get to the scene, three times longer than the recommended response time for emergencies, he noted.

Rockport police and firefighters assisted with the rescue, using their ambulance to help bring the victims to the hospital.

Jessica Benson can be reached at

Copyright © 1999-2008 cnhi, inc.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Last Year's Bonfire

A picture from last year's bonfire.

The Bonfire Is On!

So the bonfire is on! The permit from the Gloucester Fire Department took a bit of groveling, but the chief had some legitimate concerns (like NO fireworks in the bonfire). But the permit is in-hand, so with a lot of sweat and hard work (and a few beers to easy the pain) we should be good-to-go for the 4th of July.

As a note of caution, things do get a bit wild around the cove during the bonfire. Everyone involved with the bonfire kind of holds their breath every year in hopes no one gets hurt. The celebration is unique, and residents pitch in to either build the bonfire or clean up afterwards. We all hope that the excesses of the evening don't become too excessive. If you're coming to the celebration, please show some respect for the folks who live here--go home at a reasonable hour, try not to make too much of a mess, don't park in people's yards and don't do stupid stuff. There are a lot of families that come down to watch--again, try to be respectful.

If you can't make it, or don't want to deal with the crowds, watch it on the streaming webcam--it should be a great show!

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Bonfire Cam

So I've been working on providing streaming video of this year's bonfire and I think I have it.

Web TV provided by Ustream

You can try this link to bring it up in your own window.

As the construction of the bonfire starts I'll focus in on that. Until then, enjoy the activity in the cove.

With a little luck, I'll have a recording stored online, so if you miss it, you can still tune in.

Bonfire In Trouble?

I've heard that the annual Lanesville 4th of July bonfire might be in jeopardy. Seems as though Dickie Crowell won't be pulling the necessary permit from the fire department this year and there is a bit of trouble finding someone acceptable (to the fire department) to do it.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Spectacular Day

Although it was pretty warm earlier this week, today has been spectacular--just to bad I had to watch it on the webcam from work. directory