June 21, 2012
Contact: Jonathan Parker
Friendship Open for Public Tours, Closed for Private Events this Summer
SALEM, M.A. - The second phase of repair work on Friendship of Salem, Salem Maritime National Historic Site's tall ship, is currently underway at the ship's berth on Derby Wharf. Friendship will not be participating in any sailing events this year due to ongoing work. Public access to Friendship will continue throughout the summer on a modified schedule as carpenters and engineers complete various maintenance projects aboard the ship. Visitors can tour Friendship on a regular basis to explore the ship, except for when repair operations prevent safe public access.
"Our priority during this second phase of maintenance is the safety of the visiting public, our staff and contractors," said Superintendent Michael Quijano-West. "As often as conditions permit, visitors will be able to tour the ship, learn its history and ask questions about the on-going maintenance they see happening around them. Our rangers and volunteers will use this opportunity to allow visitors to see this unique behind-the-scenes work, all while explaining the 21st-century challenges of maintaining a replica tall ship."
Friendship returned to Salem on June, 9th 2012 after spending nine months in Fairhaven, Massachusetts undergoing inspection and scheduled repairs. Park management elected to bring Friendship home to Salem before the full scope of repair was complete.
"Local residents, visitors and staff were all eager to see Friendship back at Derby Wharf during her extended absence," said Friendship Captain Jeremy Bumagin. "This past spring we looked at the remaining work and decided we could complete the rest of this maintenance work while in port at Salem. This option gave us better operational flexibility - all while enabling the public to visit and learn about what it takes to maintain this 340-ton wooden ship. For most days this summer, the ship will be wide open and touring Friendship will be business as usual."
While the Friendship will be open this summer for public tours on a modified basis, the ship will not be open to host private events. Ongoing repair work, equipment storage and safety hazards prevent Friendship from effectively hosting these events until work is complete. The completion date for this second phase of work is currently to-be-determined, pending final award of the repair contracts.