PLYMOUTH — Chief G. Edward Bradley is pleased to announce that the Plymouth Fire Department assisted local and state agencies to provide an escort for the renovated Mayflower II ship into Plymouth Harbor on Monday, Aug. 10.
The ship, which is a replica of the original Mayflower that brought the Pilgrims to America 400 years ago this year, docked at Pilgrim Memorial State Park following a month-long journey up the coast from Connecticut.
The ship had been receiving more than $11 million worth of renovations at the Mystic Seaport. Once complete, the ship sailed up the coast and docked at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay on Saturday.
Monday marked the final leg of the ship’s journey. Plymouth Fire Department’s fire boat joined in the escort alongside units from the Plymouth Police Department, Plymouth Harbormaster, Massachusetts State Police Marine Unit and Massachusetts Environmental Police.
Responsibilities of the escort vessels included providing a “security zone,” maintaining a clear path and ensuring safe boating standards for nearby vessels.
Escort vessels were also responsible for monitoring, responding to and reporting any boating emergencies that may have occurred while the Mayflower II made its way into the harbor.
As part of the escort, the PFD fire boat performed a “water salute” by engaging its on-board water pump.
“We were thrilled to be able to assist in the escort for the Mayflower II, which pays homage to an iconic part of Plymouth’s history and culture,” Chief Bradley said. “We were fortunate that the weather cooperated with us, and that we were able to take part in this special event.”
The Mayflower II’s ceremonial journey was to be part of a larger celebration for the Mayflower’s 400th anniversary, but plans needed to be scaled back as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ship will now remain docked in Plymouth Harbor, where it has been a tourist attraction since being gifted to the town from England in 1956.