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Last Friday to commemorate Earth Day, the dank depths of the Gowanus Canal were doused with fresh, clean water – blessed holy water actually – by a group of Franciscan friars from Our Lady of Peace Roman Catholic church, as reported by The New York Times.
posted by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Historic Fireboat John J. Harvey Begins Year-Long
Celebration of 85th Anniversary
The year kicks off with a Chili and Bluegrass Party
at the famous Firehouse Museum.
NEW YORK CITY, NY – April 12, 2016 – Retired FDNY Fireboat John J. Harvey, famous for its legendary engineering design and participation in the maritime response to 9/11, begins a year-long celebration of her 85th year of service with a Firehouse Chili Party at the NYC Fire Museum, 278 Spring St., NYC., on Tuesday May 3rd, 2016, 6:30 to 9:30 pm.
Featuring music by the renown bluegrass band, the NYCity Slickers, guests will explore the 1904 Beaux-Arts converted-firehouse museum and view exhibits of the exciting history of the Fire Department while enjoying a fun assortment of firehouse chili, ‘fixin’s’, and drinks.
Built in Brooklyn in 1931, Harvey is the first fireboat in the fleet to have an internal combustion engine, signaling the end of steam-powered fireboats, and is a showcase for major innovations in maritime design.
During her illustrious 63-year service in the Fire Department of New York, Harvey fought numerous major fires, including the 1932 Cunard Pier fire, the munitions-ship El Estero fire in 1943 which had the potential to level lower Manhattan, and the legendary 1942 Normandie fire.
Supplanted by more modern vessels, Harvey was decommissioned in 1994, intended to be sold as scrap. Purchased at auction in 1999 by a group of preservationists, she was incorporated as a not-for-profit and repurposed as a museum boat, giving free educational tours of the harbor.
On September 11, 2001, the fireboat and her volunteer crew joined the maritime response to the attacks on the World Trade Center. After evacuating close to 200 people, Harvey was re-commissioned on the spot and joined 2 active-duty fireboats at the Battery. For the next three days, she helped provide water to fight the fires since hydrants were destroyed or buried.
The fireboat and crew received, among many other awards, recognition in the Congressional Record, which called her ‘the oldest, most famous firefighting vessel on the Hudson River.’ This event was the inspiration for the highly acclaimed children’s book ‘Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J Harvey’ by Maira Kalman.
In addition to numerous free public trips and water displays, Harvey will participate in events at the America’s Cup in May, the Oyster Bay Oyster Festival, and a Birthday Celebration in October. Fireboat John J. Harvey’s home base is Pier 66 Maritime, at 26th street and the Hudson River.
For information about the May 3rd party or to reserve tickets, visit http://weblink.donorperfect.com/JJHarvey85
Information on public trips and events is available by clicking on the ‘calendar’ tab at www.fireboat.org. Visitors are encouraged to check back often; trips and events are added frequently.
Save Our Ships New York is a 501c3 organization dedicated to the restoration and preservation of historic FDNY fireboat John J. Harvey. All donations fund the on-going maintenance and restoration of the fireboat and support free educational trips for thousands of visitors each year.