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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, June 3, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesWater Island Dedicates Dock, Fire Truck

Water Island Dedicates Dock, Fire Truck

Gov. John deJongh Jr. joined members of the Water Island Civic Association and volunteer search and rescue brigade on Water Island earlier this week to dedicate a new dock and fire truck.
Construction of the ferry dock began in 2007 and was completed in 2008. Before that, the hurricane-damaged dock had sat in disrepair since 1998, according to a Government House press release.
Flag poles and planters were bought and installed by the Water Island Civic Association to discourage driving on the dock. Carts are available for residents and visitors moving items on an off the ferry, which runs daily between Water Island and the Crown Bay Marina on St. Thomas, the release said.
DeJongh joined Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls, St. Thomas-Water Island Administrator Barbara Petersen and Water Island Civic Association President Chuck Gidley for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the dock’s entrance.
Meanwhile, getting a fire truck for the island has been about 10 years in the making but has been a top priority for past civic association presidents, according to the release.
At the Water Island fire house, deJongh and Tom McCoy, president of the island’s search and rescue brigade, gathered with Fire Services officials, officers and past search and rescue presidents to dedicate the new "quick attack" fire truck, which comes complete with a 300-gallon water supply. The new truck is among several other emergency response vehicles that are available on the island in times of emergency.
"We appreciate all that you have done to make this truck a reality, as this is a very important resource for all of us on Water Island," McCoy told the governor. Fire Chief Glen Francis said Fire Services will be ready to assist the brigade with training and support, along with more equipment in the future.
"I am pleased that today we can say that a long-awaited permanent dock is in place for all residents of the island and finally, after many years, the effort to secure a reliable fire truck for the island is in place," the governor said during the dedication.
While noting that the island’s community gets things done on a daily basis without direct government support, deJongh said his administration would "help out the residents where we can," and pledged his support for the continued development of infrastructure on Water Island, according to the release.
The governor also thanked Senate President Louis P. Hill and his Chief of Staff Colette Monroe for their help in making sure the dock reconstruction was completed, and also praised Charles "Hap" Starr, a Water Island resident and former president of the Water Island Civic Association.
"Mr. Starr worked tirelessly with Chief Francis to get some resources to Water Island," the governor said. "Mr. Starr was the official transport for many Water Island residents before there was a search and rescue team. He was the one called on to transport both visitors and residents of the island to St. Thomas when medical care was needed. We are grateful for all he has done over the years."

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