Port Captain to depart Steamship Authority

The SSA warns that some ferries could be canceled on Wednesday afternoon into the evening. – MVTimes file photo

Longtime port captain Charles “Greg” Gifford will retire next month, Steamship Authority general manager Robert Davis told The Times.

Gifford’s departure comes after an unprecedented series of failures hobbled the ferry service in recent months. However, Davis made no mention of those troubles and cited family as the motivating factor for Gifford’s exodus.

“Prior to his time as our port captain he sailed deep sea quite extensively and he indicated that at this stage he wanted to spend more time with his family,” Davis emailed.  

Information provided by the National Maritime Center showed Gifford’s unlimited gross captain’s license, last renewed in 2013, will expire on July 25. To renew Gifford faces a litany of tests, applications, and revalidations. He would also need to show he spent 360 days at sea in the last five years.

It’s unclear to what degree the need to renew his license may have influenced his decision to retire. A call to Gifford was not immediately returned.