NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

June 25, 2013

Port's Coast Guard skipper to retire

Port's new Coast Guard chief arrives Friday

(Continued)

The Newburyport outpost hosts a deployment of about 30 Coast Guardsmen and is responsible for responding to distressed craft from the New Hampshire line to about Rockport, and for about 25 miles out to sea.

The local station maintains two 47-foot motor lifeboats and a 24-foot vessel for work in shallow water.

Holm recalled that on his very first day of his assignment here, his team responded to a call of a pleasure craft foundering near a sandbar at the entrance of the Newburyport harbor.

“The seas were high, and the craft was in trouble, but we were able to lead it out of danger,” said Holm. “It was a busy day for my first on the job.”

He added, “Most local boaters learn how to deal with the tides and current near ‘The Bar’ at the harbor entrance, but some visitors really have trouble if they aren’t aware of the challenges. We’ve made many runs to help boaters.”

“The Bar” is a notoriously shallow sandbar that forms just beyond the jetties at the mouth of the river. Currents there can be ferocious, and waves can grow to large size as they rush over the sandbar. The entrance to the Merrimack River is considered to be one of the most dangerous on the East Coast.

Bases where Holm had previously been stationed include Kodiak, Alaska; Destin, Fla.; and Chatham.

“Jason did a very good job here and our departments worked well together,” said Paul Hogg, Newburyport harbormaster. “The station was in good hands when he was here, and he’ll be missed.”

DiLenge was not available for comment yesterday.

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