According to Massachusetts news site South Coast Today, Gary and Jodi Bratton last month attempted to drop anchor in the harbour, a federally designated anchoring area - but were blocked by New Bedford's Harbour Development Commission, who demanded they either anchor beyond the hurricane barrier or take a city mooring charged at $45 per night.
"The right of navigation comes with it the right to anchorage," said Gary Bratton, who was headed to Galway Bay with his wife. "We didn't feel like we were in a position to negotiate. We're in trouble. We're hurt."
But morning manager Bob Bouley defended the harbour's actions, noting that visiting boaters are being discouraged from anchoring in the area for safety reasons due to construction work around the port's south terminal.
New Bedford shows as a harbour of refuge on US federal charts, says local yachtsman Jeff Pontiff, who adds that the harbour company has had some difficulties reconciling this with the operation of its busy shipping port.
South Coast Today has more on the story HERE.