State, City Taking No Chances for Sail Boston 2017


Saturday, June 17 marks the start of Sail Boston 2017. More than 55 Tall Ships will parade into Boston Harbor and remain docked until Thursday, June 22. This highly anticipated event has been classified as a “Special Event Assessment Rating 1” or SEAR 1 by the federal government, ranking just behind the Presidential Inauguration and equivalent to the Super Bowl. Patrick McMurray, the State of Massachusetts’s Undersecretary for Homeland Security, recently told The Boston Globe that the high level of security is due to several factors. “(There are) millions of potential spectators, complex geography involving land and sea, and the arrival of foreign ships and dignitaries,” he said. Although no specific threat has been discovered, many enforcement agencies have been working together for months.  Thousands of public safety personnel, including representation from the Boston Police Department, will be in attendance to help protect the 3 million spectators that are expected to attend the event. Public safety presence will be about four times larger than it was for the same event eight years ago, much in part due to the recent terrorist attacks in Europe that have put law enforcement on higher alert. “Given the world that we live in now, we have to think of this as large scale,” Rene Fielding, the City of Boston’s Emergency Management Director told The Boston Globe.

The increased safety measures include individual screenings of all spectators and prohibit them from bringing a range of items to the event, such as backpacks, cans, bicycles, firearms, and sharp objects. There will also be parking restrictions and road closures throughout the City of Boston. However inconvenient and costly the increased safety measures are, everyone involved in the coordination efforts of the event have the safety of the public as their utmost importance and are working hard to ensure that the event takes place without any disturbances.


Photo courtesy, Craig F. Walker, Boston Globe Staff,