Town Government &
Kenneth R. Corson III
Katie Hunter, Clerk
How To Reach Us:
Please call 781-741-1450, leave a message and someone will get back to you or you can e-mail us by clicking on Contact Us and choosing Harbormaster.
In an emergency dial 781-749-1212 or dial 911 and ask for Hingham Police. We can also be reached on VHF Channel 16.
210 Central Street
Hingham, MA 02043
News and AnnouncementsVessel Applications
2015 Mooring Renewals
Mooring/docking permit renewal applications will be allowed in early November. Notices will be sent by email and the renewals are due before MARCH 1, 2015.
2015 Wait List Renewals
Wait List renewal applications will also be allowed in early November and they are due no later than DECEMBER 31, 2014.
To renew or apply for a permit visit the Permits/Fees page.
All boats on a mooring or in a slip must display a boat mooring/docking permit Section 4A Town Mooring Regulations. Failure to display a permit is a $50.00/day violation.
The pumpout boat will be in operation -- weather dependent -- Tuesday and Thursday 4-7 and Saturday and Sunday 9-5. The pumpout boat will be taken out of service by Sunday, October 12, no later than noon. The shore side pumpout station located at the Hingham Town Landing will continue to remain operation daily from sunrise to sunset until noon time on Wednesday, October 22.
For pumpout services you may stop by the Town Landing to utilize the, self serve shore side pumpout station. If you are on a mooring, or have a slip with an open slip next to you,
submit a request for service from the pumpout boat.
Saltwater Fishing Permit
In order to fish recreationally for finfish in Massachusetts marine waters, including up to the first dam in rivers and streams that flow to the ocean you are required to have a saltwater fishing permit.
For more information please see the Division of Marine Fisheries.
To provide feedback: Complete the Contact Form and select Harbormaster.
2014 Annual Report
This year when people visited the Harbormaster's office they were greeted by the new Harbormaster Clerk, Katie Hunter. Ms. Hunter brings significant office administration skills. Over the last year Ms. Hunter has improved our efficiency, customer support, and overall customer satisfaction. The Harbormaster and Assistant Harbormasters are now able to be more present at the harbor tending to harbor duties. The addition of four new Assistant Harbormasters this year, brings the staff total to eleven.
This year the season kicked off with a bang as well with the Wessagussett Fireworks in Weymouth. Shortly after the fireworks display, a distress call was broadcast over VHF 16 for a vessel aground on Sheep Island. Eight people on board initially reported no injuries, but quickly the transmission identified every passenger having sustained some level of injuries. Harbormasters from Hingham, Hull, and Weymouth responded to evacuate the people. When Harbormasters approached the island the boat was out of the water well above the waterline. Paramedics from Hingham, Weymouth and Hull were transported onto the Weymouth Harbormaster vessel "Seawatch". The injured people were triaged and treated for their injuries before being transported to land and the hospital. No injuries were life threatening; however, two people sustained serious injuries. Incidents like this do not occur frequently, but our Harbormasters continuously train in preparation for such events.
Over the winter months, the Harbormaster worked closely with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Emergency Management Division, planning a commuter ferry drill to test the response of the Hingham Fire Department, Police Department, and Harbormaster Department. Early on the morning of July 13, 2014, the Harbormaster, Police, and Fire Department responded to a mock event involving a ferry returning from Boston. The ferry lost its steering due to an engine room fire and collided with the dock. For over an hour, emergency workers evacuated the vessel; assessed and triaged "passenger" injuries; evaluated the vessel's stability and impact on the environment; and extinguished the fire. This training scenario was selected by the Harbormaster, because in the event of a real ferry accident, the joint maritime and terrestrial response of all three of the town's public safety emergency departments would be required.
Below is an image from the ferry drill. The ferry Flying Cloud is seen with smoke emanating from the engine room. Marine I is also on scene on the right side of the picture. The drill took place in the shipyard.
This ferry drill was a good segue into the first season with extended ferry service to Boston, Hull, and selected Boston Harbor Islands, seven days a week. On the busiest of days, ridership exceeded 5,000 people. Hingham has the largest ferry terminal feeding the City of Boston.
The Harbormaster and the Recreation Department offered kayaking and paddle boarding at the Town Pier. This first year pilot program was a huge success. The Recreation Department purchased the boats, paddles, and life vests while the Harbormaster provided a dock for the boats, space in the shed, and oversight on the water for safety. This was a great way for many residents (who normally don't have the opportunity) to get on the water In the picture below the kayaks and paddleboards are on the rack with dinghies in the foreground of the dinghy dock. The pumpout boat is secured to the dock with Assistant Harbormaster Matthew Demenna preparing to transit onto the boat.
In late August, the Department of Homeland Security notified the town that the Harbormaster's grant application for a harbor camera security system and Blue Force Tracking had been approved. The grant totaled $174,000 and required a $50,000 match, which was budgeted. The camera system will primarily provide for security around the ferry terminal and Blue Force Tracking allowing the Hingham Harbormaster, State Police, Massachusetts Port Police, Environmental Police, and United States Coast Guard to securely share their positions in a large homeland security network promoting faster response and situational awareness in joint responses.
As September rolled around, and the boating season wound down, the dry conditions sparked a brush fire in Great Esker Park, Weymouth. For several hours the Weymouth Fire Department fought the fire along with the Weymouth Harbormaster. Due to the remote location, they were unable to contain or reduce the fire. At that point they requested assistance from the Hingham Harbormaster. Marine I responded and for several hours worked with the fireground command to strategically spray water on the fire. Marine I has a fire pump which discharges 600 gallons of water every minute. The pump sprayed over 72,000 gallons of water, extinguishing and cooling the fire. Head Assistant Harbormaster Joseph Driscoll operated the vessel and Assistant Harbormaster Neal Nelson operated the fire pump (seen in the picture below on the bow of the boat). The Harbormaster crew communicated with each other and fireground command via wireless headsets. This was the first actual fire response by Marine 1 since its acquisition in 2011. The demand for a vessel with firefighting equipment is limited in our community, but when the need arises, having such capabilities is a huge benefit to our community and region.
The picture below shows the stream of water off the bow of Marine I which reached above the tree line and well into the woods. Marine III is in the foreground at anchor. It was used by Assistant Harbormaster, Neal Nelson to meet Marine I at the scene.
Langlee Island received its annual pruning this fall. The Boston Harbor Island National Park Stewardship Program spent a day improving the natural environment by removing invasive non-native species as well as creating space for native species. Langlee Island is home to several native plants which are locally rare, including Nantucket Shadbush (seen in the picture below). Over the next few years, Langlee is scheduled for improvements to the existing campsites as well as the creation of a picnic area and outhouse. The Harbormaster, also the Custodian of the Islands, has care and custody of the town's islands, including Langlee Island. However, it is also part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Park, enabling it to receiving the benefits of a strong devoted organization. Due to the growing popularity of this island, the Harbormaster has formalized the camping permit this year and is pursuing other improvements to protect the environment, while allowing campers and day visitors to continue to enjoy the spectacular views and unique island landscape.
This year our pumpout program exceeded any previous year in gallons of sewage waste pumped from recreational boats. A total of 40,000 gallons were pumped, with 15,909 being removed by the pumpout boat and the remaining from the shore based pumpout station, an 86% increase from last year. The pumpout boat emptied over 740 recreational boats, a 90% increase from last year. These significant increases are a result of increased pumpout requests in the shipyard due to lack of a publicly available pumpout facility. This program continues to grow in cost annually, however, the benefits to our waters will last forever.
A total of 1,507 mooring permits were issued this year. Online Mooring continues to provide online mooring renewals, new mooring submittals, and mooring management for the Harbormaster. Online mooring tracks 773 mooring permits, 548 docking permits, 186 transient moorings, and 42 moored float permits.
Marine II received new engines and a fresh coat of paint. One afternoon while performing mooring inspections off Beach Lane, an assistant harbormaster grounded the boat through a low tide cycle. This grabbed a lot of attention in town and in the media. The engines were not damaged nor was the paint job scratched. The assistant harbormaster was not injured, but learned something valuable from this experience. Anyone of any skill level can hit bottom, and if you haven't, then you haven't boated.
Your Harbormaster's Office is honored to be the waterfront representative of Hingham. Our commitment to people's safety and enjoyment of Hingham's waters is foremost. We are always open to questions and suggestions. We can be emailed at email@example.com. If you have an emergency, dial 911, if you need immediate assistance please call public safety dispatch at 781-749-1212, otherwise, call our business line, 781-741-1450.
Kenneth R. Corson III
Custodian of the Islands