Town Gives Vessel to Boatless Sag Harbor Fire Department Marine Rescue Unit

Southampton Town Trustee Bruce Stafford, left, and Sag Harbor fire Chief Steve Miller at the June 11 meeting of the Sag Harbor Village Board reporting on the donation of a vessel for the fire rescue team from the Town of Southampton. Peter Boody photo

The Town of Southampton on Tuesday donated a 2004 25-foot Steigercraft patrol boat to the Sag Harbor Fire Department, a gift that Fire Chief Steve Miller announced at the Sag Harbor Village Board’s meeting on Tuesday to a round of applause just before the board voted to accept it.

The Fire Department, which provides marine rescue and recovery services all the way from Sag Harbor to Conscience Point in North Sea, lost the use of both its vessels when one, an aging Boston Whaler, was decommissioned as unseaworthy due to a saturated hull last year; and the other, a 32-foot rescue boat, had engine failure two weeks ago and is laid for repairs up at Peerless Marine in North Haven.

Mr. Miller told the board that “I went to East Hampton to try to get loaner but theirs is being worked on.” Bruce Stafford, a Southampton Town Trustee, told him “to go to Southampton Town so I went to Southampton and asked for a loaner and they came back better and donated us a boat. I’ve got the title in hand.”

He thanked Mr. Stafford, Town Councilman Tommy John Schiavoni and the rest of the Town Board.

“Absolutely,” added Mayor Sandra Schroeder. “This is community working together.”

The Southampton Town Board voted to authorize the donation at its regular meeting earlier in the day “in exchange for the Fire Department using the boat to patrol and perform fire rescue within the water boundaries of the Town of Southampton.” Valued at $6,000, the boat had been assigned to the town’s bay constables but was considered surplus property.

In a phone interview Tuesday, Mr. Miller said he was “extremely grateful” to the Town of Southampton for the boat, which is currently winterized. The Fire Department’s dive team and Harbor Master Bob Bori will “get it seaworthy,” he said.