Michael O’Brien’s truck remained at the Cross Sound Ferry terminal Friday morning. (Credit: Grant Parpan)
Security footage from the Cross Sound Ferry appears to show Greenport resident Michael O’Brien parking his car at the Orient terminal before walking east toward the beach area Sunday evening, police and family members said Friday.
Doctor, please take my temperature. I think there’s something wrong with me. I think I’m about to say something nice about, gulp, Cross Sound Ferry.
Yes, the same Cross Sound Ferry I’ve spent years hectoring in this very space over unauthorized site plan expansion, burdensome vehicular traffic (scores of cars dumped onto two-lane Route 25, every daylight hour on the half hour) and other issues.
Could I have mellowed with age? Perhaps that’s it. But I also think my perspective has changed after two recent experiences with overseas ferry services, one based in Spain, the other in Italy. (more…)
(L-R) Cross Sound Ferry co-owner Adam Wronowski speaks with Congressman Tim Bishop and the ferry’s Long Island liason David Kapell near the terminal Tuesday afternoon. (Credit: Paul Squire)
The Cross Sound ferry terminal in Orient will be getting new ramps, new bulkheads and new mooring structures — all thanks to $1.23 million in federal funding — the ferry’s co-owner and Congressman Tim Bishop announced Tuesday afternoon.
Construction work on the terminal will be phased to prevent any service interruptions, said Cross Sound Ferry vice president and co-owner Adam Wronowski. The upgrades will begin once the ferry receives funding in about six months and should take about a year to complete. (more…)
A 42-year-old man who allegedly threatened a family member on Long Island before fleeing the scene was arrested Thursday afternoon after he boarded the Cross Sound Ferry in Orient with a loaded gun, Connecticut police said. (more…)
CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | SWAT officers at the exit of the Cross Island Ferry in Orient Friday afternoon.
UPDATE (1:15 p.m.):
Local authorities say a walk-on passenger to a Cross Sound Ferry boat heading to Orient Friday morning “fit the description” of a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings and set off a scare that drew dozens of police officers to Orient and New London, Conn.
“It was not him,” said Southold Town Police Chief Martin Flatley said from the scene. “It was someone who looked like him.”
Suffolk Police did apprehend the passenger, but determined he was not the suspect. As of 1:15 p.m., the man was being transported to Southold Town police headquarters to further check his status with county investigators — as a precaution, he said.
Police were going to run the man’s fingerprints electronically through what’s called a “live scan,” to run the prints through state and federal databases. The live scan has replaced ink and roller as a means of taking prints, Chief Flatley said.
But, he added, “they have no reason to believe it is him at this point. He was fully cooperative. He definitely fit the description.”
Police at the scene also X-rayed the man’s bag, he said.
“We received a call after 11 a.m. from crew aboard the Cross Sound Ferry,” Chief Flatley said. “There were concerns about someone that had a resemblance to the man from Boston. After the crew contacted them, they notified the Suffolk County Police Department, who sent an emergency services unit, a bomb team. There was no arrests.”
A utility worker at the Orient ferry yard who did not give a name, told a reporter he saw police swarm the passenger and force him down on his stomach near the ferry’s snackbar.
The worker said he thought at the time the man was being arrested.
CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Police were blocking traffic at the Orient Causeway on Route 25 just before 12:30 p.m. Friday.
At least a half dozen Suffolk County police cars — their lights and sirens blaring — were spotted heading east on Route 25 in Mattituck about 11:40 a.m. Friday, for what could be shaping up to be a false alarm.
Police have shut Route 25 west of Orient, at the Orient Causeway, officials said, though some cars were being allowed to pass through as of just before 12:30 p.m.
CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | Police vehicles heading east on Route 25 in Mattituck about noon Friday.
The Day of New London newspaper reported before noon that police tactical teams also reported to the waterfront in New London for reports of “a possible suspect” in the Boston Marathon bombings Monday and subsequent shootings Thursday night in Cambridge.
But The Day updated the site a few minutes later after reporting passengers were boarding the ferries as normal. Ferries at the New London terminal go to Block Island, although seasonally, Orient and Fishers Island.
Meanwhile, schoolchildren have been told by police to remain indoors.
Oysterponds School District Superintendent Richard Malone said he received a call from the police shortly before noon.
“I spoke directly with the police and they told me to keep the kids inside and not to let anybody in or out,” he said.
Cross Sound Ferry is offering a free ride home over the holiday weekend for anyone looking to fill their gas tank in eastern Connecticut, where there are no shortages nor government-mandated rationing.
Motorists looking to travel to New London can either make a reservation or simply show up at the Orient terminal, pay for the ride over and receive a free return trip, said David Kapell, Cross Sound’s Long Island liaison.
Ferry personnel will provide direction to gas stations in the New London area, he said.
Although the post-Sandy gas lines seem to have all but disappeared in some areas, odd-even gas rationing took effect on Long Island and New York City Friday morning.
Under that system, last seen in 1973, vehicles with license plates ending with an odd number can only purchase gasoline on odd-numbered dates. Those whose plates end with an even number can only gas up on even-numbered days.
Ferry reservations can be made by calling 323-2525 or online at www.longislandferry.com
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | The two gas tankers coming off the Orient ferry Friday afternoon.
Two tanker trucks each carrying 10,000 gallons of gasoline originating in New England arrived in Orient on a Cross Sound Ferry vessel Friday afternoon, bound for gas stations somewhere on Long Island with another delivery expected on a Saturday afternoon boat, said David Kapell, Cross Sound’s Long Island liaison.
The drivers were to meet up with two other truckers and switch the full tanks, which carried gas originating in Providence, R.I., with two empties, which they were to bring back on the 7 p.m. Orient to New London ferry.
The plan calls for the trucks to return Saturday with an additional 20,000 gallons of gasoline landing in Orient at 3 p.m.
With the gas shortage continuing, Cross Sound waived its standing prohibition against carrying bulk loads of gasoline on its vessels, Mr. Kapell said.
TIM KELLY FILE PHOTO | A Cross Sound Ferry boat rounds the Orient Point Lighthouse on its way to New London.
With rough seas and high winds as Hurricane Sandy approaches Long Island, Cross Sound Ferry has cancelled several Sunday evening and Monday departures from both New London and Orient.
The 3:30, 7, 7:30, 8 and 8:45 p.m. boats from New London and the 5:30, 8:45 and 9:15 p.m. boats leaving from Orient have all been removed from the schedule Sunday. Sea jet departures have all been cancelled.
There will be no ferry service Monday.
To check on the status of departures, call 323-2525.
GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Paul Connor talks with Heather Romanelli during Friday’s donation ceremony
Cross Sound Ferry raised a record $17,000 during this year’s annual fireworks benefit cruise and has donated almost all of that to Eastern Long Island Hospital in memory of John Romanelli, the businessman and former town councilman who died in January.
Mr. Romanelli’s family — his wife Heather; children Ethan and Tara and brother Paul — where on hand Friday when Cross Sound made the donation.
“Together with other donations received in memory of John, and this generous donation by Cross Sound Ferry, ELIH has half the funds needed to secure a lifesaving system called—Arctic Sun, a new Emergency Medical protocol endorsed by the American Hospital Association (AHA), which calls for lowering the core temperature of certain cardiac patients,” said Paul Connor, the hospital’s president and CEO. “ELIH is committed to raising the balance of the funds and dedicating the equipment in memory of John Romanelli.”
In addition to his service as a member of the Town Board, Mr. Romanelli was president of Burt’s Reliable fuel oil company in Southold. He died following an accident at the business in late December.
Mr. Romanelli was well known for his generous support of local organizations and causes.
The hospital is receiving $14,000 from the July 7 fireworks cruise. Each summer Cross Sound brings a boat full of people to watch a major fireworks show in New London and donates the proceeds to local charities.
The other $3,000 raised from this year’s event will go to scholarships for one graduating senior from each of the Mattituck, Southold and Greenport high schools.