Thanks to the generosity of a group of Edgartown residents, a new police and fire boat will be floating on Edgartown harbor this summer.
On Monday the Edgartown selectmen accepted a gift of more than $116,000 from the town patrolmen’s association toward outfitting and training for a police and fire boat.
The gift was a result of a fund-raising effort by Tony Chianese, the former owner of Edgartown Marine, and a $70,000 donation by Edgartown resident Ernie Boch Jr.
Mr. Chianese heard about the town’s acquisition of an old police and fire boat, and about Mr. Boch Jr.’s donation toward outfitting the boat. But he figured the town would need a bit more money, so he called “a bunch of buddies,” all seasonal Edgartown residents and avid boaters.
Several people came forward, he said, and continue to donate. So far, he estimates that he’s raised $90,000 on top of Mr. Boch’s donation. All of the money has been handed over to the patrolmen’s association and will eventually be approved by the selectmen.
“It’s an incredible amount of money,” Edgartown police chief Antone Bettencourt said. “It’s going to be state of the art for us, thanks to all these donors.”
Mr. Bettencourt said the boat is in Katama and will be out on the water in the next few months. The Coast Guard has volunteered to provide training.
“It’s a real win for Edgartown,” Mr. Chianese said, noting the ability to put out fires, perform search and rescue missions, and the installation of night vision to do searching at night and in the fog.
The new owners of the Edgartown Marine have offered free storage and launching, he said.
“This whole Edgartown group came together,” Mr. Chianese said. “You hope you never have to use it, but it’s going to be fantastic if we ever do.”