Beached Sailboat Owner 'Grateful' for Island Park's Help During Irene

It was a difficult time for Sherry Gibson, but she credits her Island Park neighbors with getting her through Hurricane Irene.

Sherry Gibson certainly didn’t want or expect her sailboat, Wind Swept, to end up stranded on Island Park beach during Hurricane Irene on Sunday.

But that's exactly what happened. The sailboat came loose from its mooring during Hurricane Irene and struck a waterfront house along Park Avenue. The waterfront home lost one of its stilts as a result of the hit.

Gibson described having to sit all night Sunday at the sea wall with a candle burning in her car because “scavengers" were driving down to steal items off her boat, she said. 

But thankfully, the sailboat owner says residents of the area reached out to help, some offering sandwiches, snacks, coffee, beverages and anything else she might need.

“There have been some really nice people who wished us well and they were all from Island Park,” said Gibson, who is also a resident of the beach community.

“Mike and Paula Ramos walked over from their home and checked on me all through the night to make sure I was OK," she added. "I’m very tired. It’s been a long ordeal."

On Monday afternoon, a team consisting of local residents arrived on Park Avenue and helped move the boat to its original location along the Sakonnet River, where it sits moored once again. The removal efforts took about 45 minutes.

“ used a crane to lift it," Gibson said. "Joe Barretto from across the street helped with his plywood and an anchor. We even had a wind surfer guy lend us a hand. I’m so thankful to everyone for down here in Island Park for helping us through this. We’re a great community that continues to pay it forward."


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