Irene Aftermath: New Bedford Harbor

Insurance claims adjusters were busy on Monday. Photo by ## Tom Richardson##

New England Boating’s Mike King and I hopped in the New England Boating skiff on Monday morning to check out the post-Irene situation in New Bedford Harbor, where some 40 vessels were damaged during the storm. A few sunk and several were dismasted, while others escaped with only minor damage. Thankfully, no lives were lost.

A few boats sank after being smashed against the docks. Photo by ## Tom Richardson##

The surprising thing was the number of boats that broke loose (at least 13, by most counts). New Bedford is thought of as a pretty safe place to ride out a storm due to the hurricane barrier. However, many boaters fail to realize that there is a good mile of fetch inside the barrier, which can stack up steep seas in the kind of big winds packed by a hurricane or tropical storm. I hate to think of the havoc a Category 3 hurricane would cause in the harbor!

Mike and I also heard complaints from several boaters that the city-managed moorings inside the harbor might not have been adequate for some of the larger boats on them. However, we cannot confirm that at present.

Seymour and Louise Friedman's boat broke loose from its mooring, but suffered relatively minor damage. Photo by ## Tom Richardson##

Whatever the case, the harbor was the scene of considerable chaos on Sunday, which made the beautiful, placid weather of Monday all the more surreal. Under bright, blue skies and calm conditions, Mike and I were able to shoot some photos and video of the post-storm damage, which you can view here. We also spoke with some of the boaters whose vessels were damaged in the storm. Most seemed to take it in stride.

If you have any stories relating the storm, let us know we’ll try to post them on New England Boating. In the meantime, if you haven’t done so already, get your boats back in the water…There’s a lot of boating season left!



Additional New Bedford Harbor Photos:

A couple of salvaged boats. Photo by ## Tom Richardson##
This marina dock was severed in the storm. Photo by ## Tom Richardson##
This vessel was badly damaged but still afloat. Photo by ## Tom Richardson##
A few sailboats were dismasted. Photo by ## Tom Richardson##

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