Anne O’Driscoll, A Sheepshead Legend, Passes Away

Captain Anne O’Driscoll, former president of the Sheepshead Bay Fishing Fleet Association, passed away at 53 years of age from cancer-related complications on Monday, September 6.

Steve Barrison, friend of O’Driscoll and president of Bay Improvement Group, sent us the following letter yesterday:

It is with great sadness that I inform you that Anne O’Driscoll died yesterday as a result of complications brought on by cancer. I just found out; she was a long-time hard-working faithful BIG Board member and past President of the Sheepshead Bay Fishing Fleet Association and did a lot for the Bay and us at BIG during the last three decades! Her dedication and knowledge of the waterfront not just in Sheepshead Bay but all of NYC was unsurpassed. Her father James, Uncle Jerry & Uncle Jeremiah O’Driscoll were the founders of the famed Circle Line.
Anne worked very hard to help organize the fully orchestrated Blessing of the Fleet (back when there was a sizable fishing fleet). She was dedicated to the rebuilding of the fishing piers, not once but TWICE! Anne warned us about the appropriate dredging of the Sheepshead Bay channel in the Bay, the Plumb Beach Shore Line, the Kingsboro point at the entrance to the Bay Harbor, the unofficial North Channel as well as how to protect the underpinning of the Belt Parkway. She was instrumental in our set up and arranging for the purchase of the “right” vessel for our BIG SPLASH (Stop Polluting Littering And Save Harbor) program, which funding dried up and we never finished.
Anne had a lifetime of advocating for a true working waterfront and the economic riches that are lost from NYC’s abandonment of that to a passive soft use, paving the way for walkways, benches and light water related uses. Anne understood and pushed for water ferries long before the current waterways and other operators. Her passion throughout her life for helping in the many waterfront preservation battles and restoration projects will be missed hugely by all, whether they knew her or not.
There will not be any funeral as per Anne’s wishes. Her brother Kevin and I spoke of spreading her ashes in the ocean from Sheepshead Bay perhaps in October; details will be announced as soon as I know them as the family wishes. Our most sincere condolences go out to the family.
Capt. Anne O’Driscoll – May 9, 1957- September 6, 2010

Please feel free to leave any memories of O’Driscoll in the comments section below.