2004-05-28 / Community

Boat Ramp Re-Opens At Beach Channel High School

By Brian Magoolaghan

Boat Ramp Re-Opens At Beach Channel High School


Officials hold snipped pieces of the ribbon that was stretched across the ramp.Officials hold snipped pieces of the ribbon that was stretched across the ramp.

By Brian Magoolaghan

The Broad Channel Volies were the first to trailer down the refurbished Beach Channel High School boat ramp last Friday afternoon – marking an earlier-than-expected re-opening of the only public launch in Rockaway and Broad Channel.

Moments after the ribbon cutting, Marine Company 1, a 12-foot inflatable rescue boat with a 25-horsepower outboard engine that is used in about half of the volies’ water emergency calls, was rolled down the ramp on its trailer and splashed in as local representatives and other cheered.

The Volies seized the opportunity to speak with elected officials about replacing Rescue 1, which is more than 12 years old. City Councilman Joe Addabbo Jr. told Chief Andrew Knee to send him a cost proposal.


Members of the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department pose with officials on the ramp as the water of Jamaica Bay laps at their heels.Members of the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department pose with officials on the ramp as the water of Jamaica Bay laps at their heels.

The project to rehabilitate the public ramp, which was closed for all of last year’s boating season, included removing large debris from the water, a new gangway and boarding ladder, replacement of fencing along the curved eastward wall and a paint job. New fencing was installed to keep fishermen and others away from the bulkhead due to safety concerns – the result is a smaller parking lot, but there is room for multiple vehicles and trailers.

Addabbo, who secured $450,000 to fund the fix-up of the ramp and the school’s private floating dock, led the re-opening ceremony. He said he worked to get the project fast-tracked because the closures impacted free access to the water, education and public safety.

"When this ramp was closed we received calls to our office immediately," Addabbo said. He added that the floating dock, which will be ready by the end of June, is needed for the school’s summer oceanography program.

Dr. David Morris, BCHS Principal and a boater/ fishermen himself said, "Our kids look forward every summer to this program."


The Volies walk Marine Company 1 down the BCHS boat ramp.The Volies walk Marine Company 1 down the BCHS boat ramp.

The re-opening is the result of collaboration between Addabbo, City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, the Department of Education and the School Construction Authority.

"The SCA has taken some hits for inefficiency in the past – this is going against the tide," Addabbo said.


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