On the morning of Tuesday the 11th, Chase Welles, Chief Engineer Tim Ivory, Tomas Cavallaro, Andrew Furber and I met spontaneously at John J. Harvey and took her south from Pier 63 to help at the World Trade Center. We joined tugs and ferries to evacuating a trapped crowd from the sea wall near the Battery, taking some 150 people north to Pier 40. En route, the Fire Department radioed a request that we drop our passengers as quickly as possible and tie up adjacent to the site to provide pumping capacity as hydrants were not working. FDNY designated Harvey Marine Company Two and assigned an officer. We joined NYFD boats Fire Fighter and McKean on the sea-wall to provide the only water available at the site.
Joined on Wednesday by Pilot Bob Lenney (NYFD ret) and Assistant Engineer Jessica DuLong, who provided welcome relief (and remained on board without it themselves), Harvey worked non-stop at the site until last night (Friday) after hydrants had been restored and she was at last sent home.
Countless friends and supporters made Harvey their base for volunteering in the emergency, working on shore on clean-up, rescue work and organization. Andrew Furber worked as a welder through the Tuesday night cutting people and remains out of emergency vehicles, and later cutting steel that had been WTC 2. Jeanne Preece and John Doswell wielded fire hose most of the day Wednesday to provide the only area at the site which was not covered by 2 inches of a horrible, ubiquitous choking dust; this area then became the main supply center for the emergency. Darren Vigilant provided regular ferry service to and from Pier 63 in his go-fast boat; John Krevey provided food, beverages and regular, unstinting support. Captain Pamela Hepburn organized the deck and set up the lines (secured to trees for lack of cleats) with quick-release toggles. (Both John and Pamela’s families are homeless as their apartments are adjacent to the site.) Many others, too numerous to name, pitched in without hesitation.
Remarkably, John J. Harvey turns 70 in 21 days. Supporters of John J. Harvey should be proud that this great old lady was saved to work for our City in crisis.