The Port Authority has finalized a one-year contract with a U.S. Coast Guard-certified captain to handle its summer water taxi service.
The Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority has found its water taxi operator, and the service could be up and running within the next two weeks.
The Port Authority on Monday finalized a one-year contract with Rick Walsh, a U.S. Coast Guard-certified captain, to handle its summer water taxi service, which transports people across Presque Isle Bay via two Aquabuses that the Port Authority owns.
Walsh previously operated Erie-based Captain Rick’s Boat Excursions via the Victory, a 65-foot-long steel boat that took groups of up to 50 people offshore for five-hour yellow perch expeditions on Lake Erie.
The water taxi service usually starts in early June but has been delayed because of the Port Authority’s search for a captain. Capt. Norman Schlosser retired in 2016 after operating the service for 17 years.
Brenda Sandberg, the Port Authority’s executive director, said the water taxi service should begin operating by early July.
“He’s previously operated in Erie, successfully, and he has all of the licenses sand business requirements we have asked for,” Sandberg said of Walsh. “We’re looking forward to continuing service exactly as we have before.”
Walsh, 64, has been boating since he was a teenager. He is a retired Westlake Middle School health and physical education teacher.
“I taught school for 28 years. I enjoy boating, and this is a good semiretirement job,” Walsh said. “It keeps me busy. I guess you could say it’s in my…
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