Warren harbormaster plans more patrols

harbormaster

harbormasterThe boating season seems a long way off, but Warren’s new harbormaster has big plans for the office.

Ed Cabral Jr., who was hired by the Warren Town Council last week for the part-time job, wants to increase the department’s visibility, make sure the waterways are being run by the book, and get more patrols out on the Warren and Kickmuit rivers.

“I want us to be out there more,” he said Monday evening.

Mr. Cabral replaces former harbormaster Matt Calouro, who after leaving with medical issues last summer informed the council in December that he would not reapply when his post was up.

A career DEM man, Mr. Cabral started in the state agency as a summer intern 29 years ago, and liked it so much that he never left.

Currently, he is a lieutenant in the uplands division, monitoring wetlands, hunting and other issues. But he spent many years in the saltwater division, and that is where his love lies.

“The main part of my career was spent on the water,” said Mr. Cabral. “I still enjoy being out there. So on that part (applying for the job) was a little selfish. But the other side is, I’m getting to the point where I’m 30 years on the job and I want to retire. This could be a good fit for me and the town.”

In his years as a DEM police officer, Mr. Cabral saw a bit of everything. But one of the biggest recurring themes was boaters not carrying basic safety gear.

“It’s one of the biggest things that we stress,” he said. “Many of the fatalities I’ve been to could have been prevented if people just had a lifejacket on. Education is big.”

One of his initiatives here will be to hold free boating safety courses for Warren residents. He has already run many of them for the Warren Fire Department, serving as its marine safety training officer since 1998. Though he hasn’t worked out schedules yet, he anticipates running the courses in the spring and summer, likely on Saturday mornings.

He also wants to spend more time on the water. The patrol has a 22-foot center console Romarine, and he has gone over the budget and determined that he and his two assistants, David Pion and Dean Eliason, have enough funds to put the boat in the water for 280 patrol hours this year.

“From Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend, I should be able to cover every weekend,” he said.

Patrols will run from the Warren River all the way around the peninsula to the Kickemuit.

Patrols will focus not just on safety issues, but also mooring inspections. The town’s mooring fields are well-mapped, and he wants to check through them for illegal moorings.

“It’s unfair for people who do it the right way and pay the town, to have illegal moorings out there,” he said.

Mr. Cabral will be paid approximately $18,000 a year for the part-time job. He beat out eight other applicants, though only six of them showed up for interviews before the town council last Tuesday. One of them included Mr. Pion, his assistant harbormaster.

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