Our friends Doug and Lee Biviano, authorized concessioners of the Watch Hill Marina and Sailors Haven (Love Fins), asked us to share the latest information on how they are recovering from the recent fire. They will be open again this weekend through Columbus Day with live music and food and lowered the rates at the Marina to get a big turnout. Please read below as they thank the first responders and provide an update.
There was a Fire but its YOU the visitors that make Watch Hill
We are heartbroken but determined to Rebuild.
There’s so much to say but we’d like to start by saying a few things. From the bottom of our hearts, we’d like to thank all the first responders who risked their lives fighting the fire, protecting visitors and our precious national park resource (we have more to say below). The most important thing is that nobody was hurt. We also want to thank you — the visitors — who make Watch Hill possible. Like so many of you, Watch Hill is our cherished home for the summer. With all of your support and the support of Fire Island National Seashore (FINS), as part of the National Park Service (NPS), we are quite optimistic about rebuilding Whalehouse Point, the restaurant lost in the fire.
In the meantime, the marina, camping, bathrooms and general store are open 7 days a week through Columbus Day. The FINS Visitor Center is open too with scheduled programming as well. We will have some food & beverage service and live music this weekend as described below. We are working on restoring F&B 7 days a week for the rest of the season. Visitors must provision for meals accordingly until full food service is restored. Please come and support us while we rebuild. Tell all of your friends. In our call for your support to help us fill Watch Hill Marina until we close for the season, we are lowering marina weekend rates to $2/ft Saturday and Sunday ($1/ ft M-F).
We are extremely grateful to all of the first responders, as acknowledged in the FINS press release, and in no particular order of response:
“Suffolk County Police Department, Suffolk County Fire Rescue and Emergency Services Coordinators (FRES); and Fire Departments from Ocean Beach, Ocean Bay Park, Davis Park, Saltaire, Fire Island Pines, Patchogue, North Patchogue, Hagerman, and Blue Point responded to the scene and extinguished the fire. Bayport, Fair Harbor and Cherry Grove Fire Departments were standing by if needed.
It is important to also acknowledge the immediate support of the Shermans and Davis Park Ferry provided in the response. They were at the scene with a ferry, mobilizing and demobilizing response units and equipment. The response was coordinated, thorough and simply amazing for such a remote and hard to reach place. We have never felt a greater sense of community and who has your back when it matters. Thank you
We’d like to acknowledge some FINS responders individually. We are extremely grateful for their support as well. FINS Ranger Dakota Buckingham was the first to respond to the scene and did everything right, a testament to outstanding training and judgment. One of the first things he did was to sprint to the restaurant to make sure Chef Alan Price wasn’t inside cleaning or prepping for breakfast. Ranger Buckingham sprinted back to alert Lee and I of the fire, instructing us to check that all of our staff was safe and accounted for. Ranger Dakota then alerted FINS Carpenter Bobby Brexel who alerted and instructed FINS staff in employee housing. Ranger Buckingham then returned to the fire to assist Davis Park Fire Department in deploying fire hoses, all within a few minutes of being alerted by a boater. That’s when Chef Alan came running down from Sea Fox. Chef Alan helped deploy fire hose and bravely led the charge in fighting the fire alongside other Davis Park firemen. Chef we thank you.
Shortly after the initial charge, the other Fire Island fire departments in their trucks and mainland units in their fire fighting vessels arrived as did Suffolk County Police Department. FINS Chief of Visitor and Resource Protection, Ranger John Stewart and Ranger Bernie Felix arrived quickly on the scene as did FINS Facility Manager Jim Dunphy. Davis Park Ferry was there mobilizing response units. FINS Superintendent Alexcy Romero arrived a little after day break to assess the situation and offer his support.
All the first responders safely contained a raging fire without injury. Through their heroic efforts, training, experience, and funding by these greater communities, we are able to look forward to rebuilding Whalehouse Point stronger than before.