Heroism at the Harbor

Writing about Jimmy Egidio, one of Atlantic Highlands’ great former police chiefs, and Bettie Jane and Vinnie Shea, a couple who fostered more than 20 children before adopting some of them, reminded me there are all kinds of heroes in the Bayshore, and always have been. Another one is Lou Papa, former Harbormaster at the Harbor and a whole team of folks who know that teamwork works. I wrote this editorial about them for The Courier in the mid-1970s when all these great folks proved once again, we truly live in a wonderful place ...

Atlantic Highlands Harbormaster Louis Papa, three people working on their boats in the harbor area, and the crew on an unidentified motorboat in Sandy Hook Bay joined forces in Sunday’s storm to save the lives of four persons and all should be commended for their quick thinking and bravery.

And so should the Coast Guard. The guardsmen were ready and well equipped to handle the overturned boat and its dumped-in-the-water sailors.

And the first aid squads. Teams from Atlantic Highlands and Highlands became part of a well- though- impromptu organized team whose first though was to help others.

And the police officers were on the scene, rendered whatever assistance they could and handled the communications system that kept the entire rescue operation running smoothly.

So often rescue efforts by first aid volunteers and trained teams like the Coast Guard are taken for granted; alert actions like those shown by Mr. Papa and the other rescuers are considered part of the job.

It shouldn’t be that way. Any of these men could have taken an instant longer to get to his position, been a bit less quick thinking and therefore slower acting, and still be considered to have done his job.

We commend all those who joined in the rescue efforts, turning what could have been a disastrous day into one with a happy ending. Heroism is still alive and well in the Bayshore.

Aren’t you glad you live here?


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