Topics: Police, Fire And Harbormaster News

CHATHAM — Christopher Woods, 21, has plenty to learn before he begins his planned career in naval aviation. But he's already got one thing going for him: he knows how to keep his head in an emergency. A rising senior at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., Woods is a summer resident of Chatham and a seasonal employee of the harbormaster's department. His grandparents, James and Barbara Woods, are summer resident...

When officials receive a call for help from a boater in trouble, the problem isn't a lack of responders; typically, the Coast Guard, harbormasters from several towns and police and fire boats get underway. A new system being put in place this summer aims to streamline and simplify the way town resources are dispatched by the Coast Guard. The system involves a smartphone app used by town harbormasters, police o...

Death of 'Capt. Dave' Murdoch Stuns Waterfront

By: Alan Pollock , Kat Szmit

CHATHAM — Captain Dave Murdoch was an easily recognizable figure in the town of Chatham, between driving along in his blue Jeep with its American flag waving in the wind and walks with his dog Gordon. Now, friends and fellow mariners are mourning the death of the 78-year-old, whose remains were found near the southern tip of North Beach Monday afternoon. Investigators do not yet know how Mr. Murdoch died, bu...

CHATHAM — A body recovered from the area of North Beach Monday afternoon has been identified as that of 78-year-old David Murdoch, a well respected member of the town's maritime community and a fixture around Chatham's waterfront. Officials say they received a call for an overdue boater and an unattended dinghy was found on the tip of North Beach Island shortly before 4 p.m. Murdoch's remains were located near...

Responders Contain Mock Oil Spill On Herring River

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The threat of an oil spill in local waters is a serious environmental concern, and state, county and local officials trained together in the Herring River on Monday to contain a simulated plume of pollution. The daylong exercise was sponsored by the state Department of Environmental Protection and focused on training for Harwich and Dennis fire departments and harbormasters. But it also included Chat...

Coast Guard Readies New Rescue Boat

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — When it comes to offshore emergencies, the go-to agency is – and always has been – the U.S. Coast Guard. But when boaters get into trouble in shallow water, the crew of Station Chatham has been up the creek, thanks to the size and design of their three 42-foot nearshore lifeboats. That's all about to change. Station Chatham has just received a 24-foot shallow-draft rescue boat capable of operating...

CHATHAM – Three giggling women skipping through Kate Gould Park at 1 a.m. Nothing so odd about that. Except that one of them was carrying a five-foot painted shark taken from the Sharks in the Park exhibit. Video of the escapade was captured by surveillance cameras scattered around the park and shown to a representative of the Chatham Police and a reporter Tuesday. While police are investigating, because the w...

Four-vehicle crash Closes Route 39

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — One person was reportedly hurt in a four-vehicle collision Wednesday afternoon. Shortly after 1 p.m., police and firefighters were called to the intersection of Route 39 and Depot Road, and found two damaged vehicles in the roadway and two more on the side of Route 39 near the roundabout at Queen Anne Road. One person was taken by ambulance to Cape Cod Hospital with unknown injuries. The driver's ...

Animal Advocates Honor Firefighters For Saving Dog

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — Recognizing local firefighters' dogged determination to save lives, a national animal rights group has decided to throw them a bone. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, has awarded Compassionate Fire Department Awards to the Harwich and Brewster fire departments for their rescue of a dog from a house fire on April 15. The two-alarm blaze on Standish Circle caused around $100,00...

Two Perish In High Seas Ship Explosion

By: Staff Reports and Contributors

BOSTON — Two men died following an explosion and fire aboard a 623-foot cargo ship on the Atlantic high seas Monday morning. At approximately 7 a.m., the captain of the Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier Tamar contacted watchstanders at the Coast Guard command center reporting an explosion in the ship’s forward storeroom. He also reported the explosion killed one crewmember and three suffered massive burns ...

Firefighters Snuff Prescribed Burn

By: Staff Reports

HARWICH — A prescribed burn at Thompson's Field Tuesday had to be extinguished by firefighters after it threatened to spread uncontrollably. Crews were called to the area shortly after 9 a.m. at the request of the conservation department, which was overseeing the controlled burn of brush piles in a former meadow on the town-owned conservation land. The fire was between two dirt paths and did not threaten any s...

Firefighters Save Dog From House Fire

By: Staff Reports

EAST HARWICH — There were no serious injuries in a two-alarm house fire on Standish Circle Saturday afternoon, and firefighters are credited with saving the family's pet dog from the blaze. As of Saturday, officials were still searching for the cause of the fire that scorched a single-family house at 16 Standish Circle. Heavy fire was showing from the house when the first firefighter arrived. The blaze had s...

Red Cross Honors Local Heroes

By: Alan Pollock

HYANNIS — As they do each year, the local chapter of the American Red Cross presented medals for heroism Friday, and a number of the honorees were from the Lower Cape. Last July, Nauset Marine employee Olivia Underwood was cleaning a boat when she saw a sudden flash in a nearby boat. She rushed to find that a fire had ignited the clothes of her coworker, Joe Pires; without hesitating, she doused him with wat...

Connick Takes Command At Chatham Fire

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — On Friday, Peter Connick raised his right hand and became Chatham's fire chief, only the fourth professional chief in the town's history. Connick takes the place of Michael Ambriscoe, who retired at the mandatory retirement age of 65, having served Chatham for a dozen years. “He made us what we are,” Connick said. “He's left this place so much better than he found it.” “It's been an honor and a...

CHATHAM – Unless you have direct interaction with them, the men and women who make up the town's fire and rescue service can be seen simply as figures in uniform glimpsed in parades or at the station washing fire engines. That's no longer the case for the nearly one dozen residents who recently graduated from the department's first citizens fire academy. “These are remarkable men and women who you see as an ab...

CHATHAM – Peter Connick will become chief of a fire department that, it could be argued, is at the top of its game. With a long-awaited new fire station opened last year, a new ladder truck parked in one of its bays and two new engines on the way, and a full staff, “frankly, we're at a really good place now,” said Connick. Town Manager Jill Goldsmith announced Connick's appointment in a memo to the board of...