Boats New and Old At Town Dock

Security and fire vessel can reach 30 knots

East Hampton’s new port security vessel, a 42-foot boat that will be stationed in Montauk to fight fires and assist the Coast Guard with its duties under the Department of Homeland Security, will be christened in a ceremony on Wednesday. It will be named for John L. Behan of Montauk.

The $600,000 boat, which was delivered in early June and can travel at a speed of 30 knots, was purchased in part with a $450,000 grant from the federal homeland security agency; the town contributed $150,000, or 25 percent of the cost.

A built-in water pump will enable Montauk firefighters to use the boat to fight boat fires or to battle shoreside fires from the water. Local firemen are being trained and certified to use it, Ed Michels, the town’s chief harbormaster, said this week. 

East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said Tuesday that he had suggested naming the boat for Mr. Behan, who grew up in Montauk. A highly decorated Vietnam War veteran, Mr. Behan served as a New York State assemblyman as well as an East Hampton Town assessor, and as the director of the state’s Division of Veterans Affairs.

“The thought of the town honoring him in some way has been something I’ve been thinking about for some time,” Mr. Cantwell said. In addition to Mr. Behan’s record of public service, his family history makes the honor particularly appropriate and special, said Mr. Cantwell. “A lot of people don’t realize,” he said, that Mr. Behan’s father, Lester Behan, “was one of the great party boat fishermen . . . really commercial fishermen. And John grew up . . . his whole family was involved in the fishing industry in Lake Montauk.”

The commissioning ceremony will be held at the United States Coast Guard Station on Star Island in Montauk beginning at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. The public has been invited to attend, and light refreshments will be served. Among the attendees, besides Mr. Cantwell, will be East Hampton Town Police Chief Michael Sarlo, Capt. Andrew Tucci of the Coast Guard Long Island Sound, and Vincent Franzone, the Montauk Fire Department chief.

In other news from the Montauk dock, a Montauk fishing boat that has been taking on water in its berth at the town commercial dock was hauled out this week before becoming fully submerged or leaking any pollutants, Mr. Michels said on Tuesday.

The Sylvia S., a large wooden dragger owned by Chris Wood, has been in use in Montauk since around 1959, Mr. Michels said, and was fishing up until a short time ago.

Its owner notified officials about its condition last week, and the Gone Fishing Marina in Montauk pulled it from the water for disposal. It could not be repaired.

The town board voted on Tuesday to appropriate $15,000 to pay the marina so that the boat could be immediately dealt with, but will seek compensation from its owner.

“I just didn’t want it sunk in the slip; it makes it much harder,” Mr. Michels said. The main concern, he said, was the potential for pollution, but there was “not a drop.” Mr. Wood has been working with the town to resolve the situation, Mr. Michels said.

The Sylvia S. has seen the last of her fishing days. The wooden trawler, taking on water, was hauled from its berth at a public dock in Montauk this week. Jane Bimson