BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Navy Week visitors making their way to the Buffalo waterfront were entertained and educated with every turn on Friday.
"Now the crew of the USS Constitution will demonstrate a boarding pipe drill," warned one on the reenacators to the crowd.
Sixteen Navy sailors from the USS Constitution near Boston, dressed in period uniform, demonstrated the brutal conditions that sailors endured back in 1812.
"And when he fires, he has to stand away from the gun because it would travel back about four to six feet going 25 to 35 MPH. And with a 6500-pound gun, you don't want to be standing behind it," said Quarter Seaman William Gillaspie.
For a small fee, visitors to the waterfront can tour the replica two-mast, square-rigged US Brig Niagara. The relief flagship for Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry was pivotal in the 1812 Battle of Lake Erie. The British were beat and the squadron captured.
According to the US Brig Niagara Captain Wesley Heerssen Jr., "The Niagara and her sister ship the Lawrence were both sunk in Erie Harbor to demilitarize the Great Lakes and that was a means of keeping the peace between the two nations."
After a couple rebuilds, the vessel now resides in Erie, where it is used in maritime training. And a lot more than camaraderie is resting on the deck hands on a tall ship.
"I have trusted them with my life. I've been doing something and if they did something wrong, I'm dead, I'll be crushed by a ton of lumber or I'll fall 80 feet on to the deck," said one of the deckhands.
Tours and demonstrations continue through the weekend. You can make reservations to tour the ship here.
Police say they had the wrong man, and that Jerome Thagard, who spent four years in prison, didn't murder Steven Northrup in 2009. But the victim's family says otherwise.
A Good Samaritan died Wednesday while trying to assist the driver of a tractor trailer who got stuck in the snow.
A 26-year-old male employee of Ying's Wings and Things told police that Haibo Jiang, also known as Jimmy Ying, choked him until he passed out.
State Education Commissioner John King is on his way to Buffalo. He is coming for a forum on the Common Core curriculum, downtown Thursday.
The Jo Bros are playing at Kissmas Bash Thursday night at the First Niagara Center. But the band split in September, saying there’s a deep rift.
A one-car crash backed up Route 33 inbound Thursday, around 6:30 a.m. The accident happened on Route 33 West before the Route 198 split.