2017-07-06 / Island History


The bodies of two men were discovered in Narragansett Bay following the Fourth of July weekend, The Jamestown Press reported July 10, 2003.

Harbormaster Sam Paterson responded within minutes to a 911 call about a distressed diver off the coast of Fort Wetherill. Paterson located the unconscious 51-year-old Burrillville man in 30 feet of water and brought him to shore. Rescue workers, however, could not resuscitate the man.

An hour later, firefighters responded to Cranston Cove after an 82-year-old Florida man had a fatal heart attack while clamming.

100 years ago — July 7, 1917 (Newport Daily News)

Jamestowner Alvin Peckham died aboard the British steamer Portloe, which was sunk April 20 by a U-boat roughly 160 miles west of Fastnet Rock in Ireland. He previously served as a deckhand on the steamer Conanicut.

75 years ago — July 10, 1942 (Newport Mercury)

A wayward torpedo from the test range in Narragansett Bay piled onto the east shore of Jamestown in front of the Anderson cottage.

Onlookers were warned by pilots to keep away while the U.S. Navy was dispatched to the scene. Sailors from Gould Island moved a boulder, which had prevented the torpedo from continuing farther, then towed the missile back to the range.

50 years ago — July 7, 1967 (Newport Daily News)

Columbia, the face-lifted 12 Metre that defended the America’s Cup in 1958, capitalized on a goof from Constellation to win the opening race of the observation trials on Narragansett Bay. Although the race was decided in less than a minute, it wasn’t the tactical duel usually seen during close match racing.

A spectator fleet of 50 boats watched from the water.

25 years ago — July 9, 1992 (The Jamestown Press)

Lisa Pointek, who has served as town planner since 1989, has accepted a supervisor’s position with the state Department of Environmental Management.

Pointek, 29, is the second department head to step down since Town Administrator Robert Sutton announced his resignation in January. James Pemantell, the police chief since 1974, announced his retirement last month.

Pointek pointed to her salary as a reason for leaving. “I’ve gone about as far as I can go in Jamestown,” she said.

10 years ago — July 12, 2007 (The Jamestown Press)

Rescue workers dramatically saved an elderly woman after she fell into a deep ravine along the eastern coast at Beavertail State Park.

The 74-year-old Narragansett woman was walking with her son and daughter-in-law along the cliffs when she lost her balance. When rescue workers arrived on scene, firefighters began installing a pulley system to hoist the woman while emergency medical technicians scaled the cliff to treat her. A Coast Guard helicopter ultimately transported the woman to the trauma unit at Rhode Island Hospital.

According to firefighter Keith Godena, this wasn’t the first time the department has rescued victims from the cliffs. “We’re all trained pretty well for this kind of thing,” he said.

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