BayFest/Blessing of the Fleet
Emmons Avenue & E. 27th Street. Sheepshead Bay, Sunday, May 15, Noon - 6:00 p.m.
Thousands attend this celebration of a vibrant working fishing village. Entertainment includes traditional sea chanting and sailing demonstrations, clown acts, face painting, magic, giveaways, arts and crafts, and a spectacular NYC fireboat display. The day ends with a blessing of the fleet and free boat rides in the bay. For more information, please call 718-646-9206
Blessing The Fleet
by Peter Fleischer
A thousand feet from land, at the edge of the Canarsie Pier in Brooklyn, looking across the gentle chop of an inland sea at an uninhabited tree covered island, Patie Ventre cast a memorial wreath into Jamaica Bay. A cannon was fired. The American flag was raised. The National Anthem was sung.Ventre is the Commander of the United Inter-Yacht Clubs Association, and this was the 47th Annual Blessing of the Fleet.
Rabbi Cecil Walkenfeld, a Chaplain with the New York City Department of Corrections offered his blessing, "Let man and boat work together to successfully navigate our way". Father Angelo Pezzullo of Nativity Church in Ozone Park joined him. He asked God to bless "all those who protect this country by sea, make their livelihood from the sea, and use the sea for enjoyment."
Under powder blue skies, a warm sun and with a steady off-shore breeze, representatives of eighteen Jamaica Bay yacht clubs formed a maritime procession lasting two hours. In turn, powerboats, sailboats, and hand-powered craft floated past the reviewing stand on Canarsie Pier. Passengers and crew aboard the ships stood at attention, saluting, most of them in formal dress white, a few in navy blue and white. It was an impressive display of pomp and protocol.
FDNY 4th Annual Blessing Of The Marine Fleet
South Street Seaport Pier 17 - New York, NY - June 17, 2005
previous | next
HISTORY OF MARINE FLEET
The first Marine Company of the New York City Fire Department (Fireboat William Havemeyer) was formed on May 10, 1875, per the general orders of the Board of Fire Commissioners. The New York City Fire Department, Marine Operations, is charged with protecting the 560 miles of waterfront surrounding the City of new York and its people. These waterways are used for enjoyment and ever increasingly, as means of commutation and commerce. Fire protection is provided through the use of the FDNY fireboat fleet. With the closing of various Coast Guard stations, Marine Operations recognized the potential for increased danger to the citizens of the New York City. To deal effectively with this situation and have a positive impact on the increasing number of water emergencies, Marine Operations proposed the use of "rapid response boats" that have the capability to arrive within a reasonable time, make an instant impact and provide essential emergency assistance.