Lynn Fire Department gifts Nahant new boat

A Defender25, formerly a vessel used by the United States Coast Guard. (Owen O'Rourke)

NAHANT — The Lynn Fire Department gifted Nahant a Coast Guard boat that will allow the town to patrol its waters this summer.

“That boat — that’s a necessity,” said Nahant Police Chief Robert Dwyer. “That’s a lifeline.”

Nahant’s 20-year-old harbormaster boat sunk, was hauled from the ocean, then burned up at a boatyard in Marblehead last year.

“At that point, I thought I was cursed,” said Town Administrator Tony Barletta, who assumed his position in August 2018.

The 22-foot Eastern, the town’s only harbormaster boat, sunk on Dec. 20, 2018, while moored in the harbor. Nobody was on the vessel when it sank. It was pulled from the water and hauled on a trailer to Ryan Marine in Marblehead. It was waiting to be assessed by insurance companies when a fire broke out at the boatyard shortly after midnight on Nov. 30. Nahant’s boat was one of six burned in the blaze. Marblehead Fire Capt. Thomas Rice estimated the damages were between $500,000 and $750,000.

Barletta reached out to Lynn Fire Chief Steve Archer about a boat the city acquired in 2015 but was not using.

The Lynn Fire Department acquired the 24-foot, 9-inch former Coast Guard boat in 2015. At the time, it was valued at $300,000, but lacked an engine and technology necessary for it to operate and the city didn’t have the funds to equip it. It was stored in a garage at General Electric for several years.

Last year, the Lynn Fire Department acquired a 24-foot Parker fire rescue boat outfitted with two 175-horsepower outboard motors through the state Surplus Property Program.

AL Prime Energy CEO Nasser Buisier, John Walsh of John’s Oil, and Swampscott developer Charles Patsios came up with the required 25 percent deposit of $5,000 for the boat as a donation.

“We did not have the resources to get that Coast Guard (vessel) outfitted with the motors and electronics that it was going to need,” said Archer. “It made sense to allow them to take possession of that and allow them to protect Nahant and the harbor area this summer.”

The departments plan to train together with Coast Guard’s Sector Boston this spring.

“It’s a great way for these communities to work together to protect the harbor area,” said Archer. “Between us and them, we’ll have a really good response in the harbor area that will benefit both communities.”

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