Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Shared Waterways Report

A snowy day in NY Harbor, heading back to Coney Island after visiting the seals at Swinburne Island. Visibility was limited, but we knew where the channel was, we made a securite call before crossing, and we weren't about to play chicken with the big guys 'cause we know they can't stop. Everything went fine and it ended up being an amazing paddle.

With both commercial and recreational boating traffic growing across the country's waterways, though, interactions don't always go this smoothly. The National Transportation Safety Board has recently come out with some recommendations, and I thought I would take a break from the pretty pictures that I've mostly been posting of late and share a link to the NTSB's press release, which includes a link to the full report (80+ pages but much of that is appendices). Interesting read - one thing that I did notice about the full report is that lack of training actually wasn't a factor in the ferry-kayak incident that's mentioned at the beginning of the report, but it did draw attention to the general issues caused by increasing numbers of boaters in the harbor, which have been the subject of many a lively debate among New York harbor users for pretty much the entire time I have counted myself among that group.

Thank you to both Nancy Brouse at the New York City and Hudson River Watertrail Associations, and Carolina Salguero at PortSide NewYork for sharing the information - I think I saw the information from both of them within about ten minutes of each other!

Added note later - excellent suggestion from an engineer friend for low-vis situations like the one we were in in the photo above, received after I shared this on Facebook: "Some advice, there are a couple of vessel tracking app's the can be run on smart phone. All though larger vessels choose to avoid low visibility conditions,they are often caught by closing weather while underway. These app's will show you who your sharing the channel with. You also have a bette chance of radio contact since you can now call the vessel by name. I use "vesselfinder". I did know you can look at ship locations online but not having a smart phone myself, I never would've thought of using an app as an on-board tool when out in murky conditions. Good stuff, thanks Tim!

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