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Eighty-two years ago, on October 6th, 1931, fireboat John J. Harvey was launched right here in New York harbor. She was the first “modern” fireboats ever built in this country, moving the FDNY from the era of steam-power to diesel and making her the most powerful fireboat of the day.
Capable of pumping up to 18,000 gallons of water a minute, fireboat Harvey assisted during such notable fires as the Cunard Line pier fire in 1932 and the burning of the Normandie in 1942.
Although retired from the FDNY in 1994, she was recommissioned into service when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center on 9/11. Her monitors pumping water on to ‘the pile’ at Ground Zero for a consecutive 80 hours.
Harvey has spent her entire service life on the West Side of Manhattan at North (Hudson) River berths. Fireboat Harvey is now berthed at Pier 66 Maritime, a stone’s throw from where she performed most of her lifetime of service.
Help us honor the 82nd anniversary of her launch with your generous donation to www.fireboat.org. In order to receive a generous grant award from “Save America’s Treasures“, the Harvey must raise matching funds.
If they don’t raise $165,955 by the end of this year, they will lose the money.
Please make a donation TODAY. Every penny collected will help keep this magnificent hero in ship-shape. You can also celebrate and honor the historical fireboat at their annual Fireboat Gala on November 4th. Click here for tickets.
Eighty-one years ago, the John J. Harvey was launched, at the Todd Shipbuilding Yard, Gowanus Bay, Brooklyn. Maritime photographer and WHC Steering Committee member Jonathan Atkin was recently featured in Narratively and spoke of his assignment for the Wall Street Journal on the 10th. anniversary of 9/11.
FDNY Fire Boat John J. Harvey, shot from the foredeck of the USS New York on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Photo © Jonathan Atkin/Shipshooter.com
“The 75-year-old retired FDNY Fire Boat John J. Harvey, seen in my photo, played a significant role in the aftermath of 9/11 as the only retired fire boat to come to the World Trade Center site. There, it valiantly hooked up its powerful pumping capability, supplying FDNY pumper trucks with water, day and night, as nearby fire hydrants had been destroyed. -Jonathan Atkin“
You can help this historic vessel by having fun! The John J. Harvey 2012 Fall Benefit is on October 28, 2012. Come enjoy family fun in the afternoon like face-painting, pumpkin painting, short boat-rides on fireboat (weather permitting), celebrity readings of ‘Fireboat’… followed by Gala Sunset Cocktails with open bar, hors d’oeuvres, music, and more! Get your tickets today.
by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee
BOATLIFT is the story of the largest maritime evacuation in history. Eleven years ago, on 9/11, over 500,000 people were rescued from Manhattan’s sea walls in just under nine hours.
The city was under attack. The subway was shut down, the bridges closed, commuter rail ground to a halt. Hundreds of thousands of people streamed towards the water’s edge, desperate to get to safety, desperate to get off the island.
Ghost-like, thousands came through the dark, smokey mist. They crowded the seawall 10-deep, crying out for rescue.
Help us. We need help.
Then the Coast Guard made the call. All available boats. Anyone able to help with the evacuation of Lower Manhattan, report to Governor’s Island.
One radio call went out and within minutes, hundreds of tugboats, ferries, fishing boats, coast guard cutters, private boats, party boats, small professional diving boats and other vessels converged on the harbor to do what they could.
“If it floated, and it could get there, it got there,” said Mary Gellatly engineer Robin Jones. As the towers fell, the brave community of mariners who work the waters of New York Harbor rushed towards the disaster.
That day, through the thick, acrid smoke came angels from the water.
“I believe everybody’s got a little hero in them. You gotta look in, and it’s in there. It’ll come out, if need to be.” –Robin Jones, engineer Mary Gellatly
So, on this 11th anniversary, let’s also honor and remember these humble maritime heroes; average people who stepped-up when needed, to accomplish the impossible.
by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee
Special evening program will feature documentary films with commentary by tug captains and crew presenting an insider’s look at the tugboat industry—its colorful history, present-day work, and vital importance.
Tuesday, April 17 at 6.p.m.
Community Church of New York, 40 East 35th Street, Manhattan
Tickets are $25 ($20 for seniors).
They can be purchased at www.workingharbor.org
and include a reception with food, beer, wine and other beverages.
New York, NY, April 2, 2012 – Everybody loves tugboats, those iconic little workhorses that push ships ten times their size through narrow waterways and tow barges laden with fuel oil through busy harbors. “It is like the “Little Engine That Could,” or the mouse that pulled the thorn out of the lion’s paw,” said filmmaker Tom Garber, whose documentary, Tugging Through Time: The History of Harbor Tugboats, will be featured.
The Working Harbor Committee (WHC), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about the history and present-day importance of the Port of New York and New Jersey, is sponsoring the presentation. Since 2002 WHC has taken more than 20,000 people on Hidden Harbor® boat tours to visit behind-the-scenes waterfront places that most people never get the chance to see. “Tugboats are always the biggest hit,” said Captain John Doswell, the organization’s executive director. WHC also runs the annual New York Harbor Tugboat Race. “People always ask what it is like to be on board. Our ‘All About Tugs’ program will answer that question.”
The evening will feature three films:
– 1948 Disney cartoon Little Toot, based on the classic children’s book of the same name by Hardie Gramatky. First published in 1939 and still in print today, the book tells the story of a rogue young tugboat that becomes a hero.
– Tugs, a nine-and-a-half minute documentary by Jessica Edwards that won acclaim at several international film festivals last year. The film, shot in New York Harbor, features tugs and crews from Miller’s Launch. “It is an ode to the hardest working boats on the waterways, and the people who pilot them,” said filmmaker Edwards.
– Tugging Through Time: the History of New York Harbor Tugboats, a 55-minute film by Emmy Award filmmaker Tom Garber. This film combines rare footage of early steam tugs, onboard footage of today’s modern tugs and interviews with tug company presidents to tell the story of an industry that has been filled with determination, drive and courage from the very beginning. It shows the heroic role tugboats and their crews played in the 9/11 “boat lift” that brought hundreds of thousands of people to safety following the terrorist attacks. And it shows tug crews joyously competing for honors at New York Harbor’s annual tugboat race and competition.
Immediately following the film program, a panel of tugs captains, crewmembers, owners and professionals will talk about their maritime experiences and take questions from the audience. A reception with food, wine, beer and soft drinks will follow.
The event will begin promptly at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17, at the Community Church of New York, 40 East 35th Street, Manhattan. Tickets are $25 ($20 for seniors age 62+) and are fully tax deductible. They can be purchased at www.workingharbor.org.
Advance purchase is strongly recommended since seating is limited. For additional information or telephone purchases, contact 212-757-1600.
High Res photos are available upon request. Press coverage is invited; please contact Betsy Haggerty firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for tickets.