The captain of a controversial Sheepshead Bay party ship that was blamed for a shooting on Emmons Avenue in October apologized to neighbors for any ruckuses his boat has caused and vowed to move his berth to a pier further away from their homes.
Golden Sunshine skipper Joe Lind told residents at the Plumb Beach-Sheepshead Bay Civic Association meeting that he was sorry his business had brought fear and hardship to the neighborhood, and that he would move his boat so it wouldn’t disturb residents that live nearby.
“If it was my house there, I would be very unhappy,” Lind said to the crowd last Tuesday. “We’d like to move the boat away from people we’re disturbing. We’ll do anything we can to make it work.”
Lind said he’s looking to move his 106-foot luxury catamaran from its longtime berth at Pier 2 on Emmons Avenue between Bedford Avenue and E. 26th Street to one of the piers near E. 21st Street across from the Loehmann’s shopping center where he says residents won’t be bothered by his clientele.
Residents who live near Pier 2 have long complained that inebriated revelers often get in fights after returning from the cruises, take up parking spaces used by local drivers and leave empty liquor and beer bottles on sidewalks and lawns.
But they became truly incensed when gunfire erupted between two angry partiers after a cruise on Oct. 8.
That night, two men started arguing before the Golden Sunshine set sail, and settled their differences near Pier 2 after the boat returned three hours later, when one of the combatants fired a weapon in the air.
Terrified neighbors who were woken up by the gun shots later demanded that Lind move his boat, leading him to ask the Parks Department — which issues docking permits to vessels at Sheepshead Bay piers — for permission to use another dock in the bay.
But the pier switcheroo might not be so easy because the berth Lind has in mind is already rented, city officials said.
“We are currently looking to see if another docking space can be made available for [the Golden Sunshine] to move to,” said Parks Department spokesman Phil Abramson, who confirmed that Lind had requested to move his boat to Pier 10 and said that dockage permits are issued to vessels based on available dock space.
Still, some say moving the boat isn’t the answer, as it will only move the problem from one end of the bay to the other.
“It’ll be the same crowd,” said C.J. DiBella, who works on a fishing boat docked next to the Golden Sunshine. “If the boat moves I don’t think it’ll make a difference.”