Montauk's time-honored salute to its fishing industry takes place again on Sunday.
The , presented by the Montauk Boatman’s and Captains Association at 5 p.m., is not only a memorial for the local fishermen, deckhands, and captains of private, charter, and commercial boats, but also a celebration of the summer fishing season.
Local clergy on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ridley will bless approximately 175 boats as they head out of the harbor for a service and the traditional wreath dropping ceremony which will honor eight lost lives of local fishermen. The clergy will include the Rev. Michael Rieder of , the Rev. Ann Miller of , and Father Constantine.
“This is really a solemn event,” says Laraine Creegan, Executive Director of the
The event first began in 1955 when Vinnie Grimes brought the idea back to Montauk from a blessing in Boston. Frank Braddick, who has been in charge of the blessing for 26 years, refers to it as his “baby.”
Anyone who has a boat may join the blessing, and even if you don’t have a boat, some of the larger boats will welcome the public to be a part of the event, Braddick said.
Creegan suggested making an afternoon out of it by checking out the local shops on Main Street and dock before grabbing some outside seating at any of the restaurants near the town dock for a bite to eat.
“Almost all of them have outdoor seating,” she said, and you may be able to see the boats as they head out of the harbor at a few of the restaurants.
There are also events leading up to the blessing.
On Thursday, roundtable will be held at the . Eight fisherman will share their stories.
Friday evening features the chamber's annual Montauk Harbor This year Paul Forsberg and the Forsberg family of the will be honored.
“They have done a lot of positive things for the fishing community here,” said Creegan. Forsberg has dedicated his life and made a living for his family through fishing.
According to the fleet website, Forsberg had his own boat in Montauk at 12 and by 18 he was running his own charter fishing boat as captain.
These events are really about “notable, brave people who were pioneers in the fishing business,” says Creegan.
For more information about this week’s events, contact the 631-668-2428.