Dockside fire extinguishers in Menemsha showed neglect, as did outlets provided for transient boaters, when The Times visited the harbor on the evening of July 25. Of the three extinguisher cabinets in close proximity to the harbormaster’s shack, one cabinet was empty and one held an extinguisher leaking foam from its discharge head, while the other cabinet was broken and held an extinguisher without an inspection tag. All three cabinets were missing their doors, and pin seals on the extinguishers inside them were a year out of date. The two fire extinguishers in pedestal cabinets on the transient dock were hung with inspection tags a year out of date. From the shellfish constable’s berth down the entire length of the commercial fishing wharf, no fire extinguishers were evident. Many of the 30-amp boxes along the edge of the bulkhead that visiting boats draw power from were missing doors and light bulbs. Two were affixed to cracked wooden posts. One electrical box was seen seeping sand.
Reached by telephone, selectman Jim Malkin, liaison to the harbor, told The Times that the extinguishers and outlets were issues of routine maintenance, and will be addressed as part of a harbor checklist.
“I find it astonishing and disappointing that any Chilmark resident would note issues of safety and rather than bringing them to the attention of the harbormaster, the town executive secretary, or the selectmen, would notify the newspaper,” he said.