Calmer Marine Patrol Season

East Hampton Town’s chief harbormaster, Ed Michels, was both master of ceremonies and the star of a brief Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee meeting Monday night, bringing the committee up to date on the activities of the town’s Marine Patrol, a division of the Police Department.

Members were surprised to learn that Marine Patrol, working with the East End Marine Task Force on Long Island Sound, has been carrying radiation detectors. “If you come into the Sound with weapons or terrorist operations, we will get you,” Mr. Michels said. “If you come in with radioactive isotopes, we’ll get you.” In an Aug. 19 test, he said, the task force had successfully located three hidden radioactive devices. 

On a lighter note, he reported that beach fires were less of a problem this summer than last year, with between 150 and 200 summonses issued for fires built outside metal containers. “That’s way down from the year before,” Mr. Michels said, “but you can’t stop them 100 percent, and you can’t be everywhere at once,” especially after Labor Day, when just one person patrols the beaches, down from 16 or 17 in season. Amagansett’s Atlantic and Indian Wells beaches were “hot spots,” he said with a smile, though “not as crazy” as before.  

The summonses used to be largely ignored by out-of-town visitors, Mr. Michels said, noting that most people have no idea that tearing up a summons can bring serious consequences. “One guy blew off his dog ticket. He got picked up in Hempstead” on a traffic infraction, he said, and spent a night in jail after police found the open East Hampton citation. 

Fines for infractions like unlicensed dogs start at $150, double if unpaid in a month, and keep going up from there, “so it’s in your best interest to pay immediately.” On the bright side, summonses can now be paid by mail, and since that became possible “compliance has been 90 percent.”  

There were seven arrests this season for boating while intoxicated, the harbormaster reported. “On Three Mile Harbor, we had a guy who jumped overboard” when Marine Patrol approached. “We get some really good moments out there, especially in Montauk.” Sometimes, he said, “you get into Montauk middle of the night, it looks like Montauk’s on fire. But if I get into an argument, it’s usually with locals, not the people from away.”

At its next meeting in October, the advisory committee will again discuss stop signs, particularly the idea of having one installed at the busy four-way Atlantic Avenue-Bluff Road intersection.