Tisbury takes possession of a loaner boat

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Rich Saltzberg

The Tisbury harbor department recently received a loaner vessel to replace the town harbor patrol boat, Rock Salt, which sank in October. The new boat is on loan from the Massachusetts Environmental Police, for free, under a memorandum of understanding with Tisbury. It’s docked at Prime Marina off Lagoon Pond Road presently. Tisbury harbormaster John Crocker said the old harbor patrol boat typically overwintered there, so this boat is following suit. 

“I think as a loaner vessel, we’re very fortunate to have it,” he said. “It’s going to allow us to do our job. That was such a generous thing that the Environmental Police did.”

Selectman Jeff Kristal concurred. “They’ve been super,” he said.

Crocker said the town will return the boat to the Environmental Police once they purchase a new boat for the harbor department. He said that can’t happen until voters permit use of the insurance proceeds from the loss of Rock Salt for the acquisition. 

Kristal said it’s on the upcoming warrant. 

The loaner boat is a 25-foot Parker center console. Harbor staff just recently lettered the boat, Crocker said. It won’t carry any firefighting equipment, like its predecessor, he said. Tisbury officials past and present said Rock Salt’s firefighting system was a lemon. That system wasn’t retained, and was turned over to the town’s insurer along with the rest of the vessel, which was declared a total loss.