It’s that time of year

One thing that I do like about working in the Gulf is the low level of non-commercial traffic in Fourchon, and offshore. It simply isn’t Boston Harbor on a nice weeknight, or Block Island sound on a sunny Saturday. You don’t have the crowds, the throngs of people, most trying to figure out where they are going or not paying attention to it. It’s the same lack of seriousness that most people give to driving their car at highway speeds, it’s this lack of respect for an activity that can kill you, that leads to tragedies like the one shown on Gcaptain. Link to post http://gcaptain.com/bride-missing-striking-barge-hudson/ (Edit, for some reason the embedded links aren’t showing up now.)
It’s another example of too much speed, too much booze, too little idea of where they are, and far too little respect for the activity. It strikes a cord with me as I have seen it before. Several years ago, before assisting in docking a barge in New Bedford, we were asked to take a USCG inspector along to examine the barge afterwards. The master and myself threw each other a look and already new what was coming. When we took back our headline and moved around the rake of the barge, this is what we saw.

The white badge of drunk boating

The white badge of drunk boating


That white smudge is the mark left by Grady White that in the middle of the night ran nearly between the barge and the tug, and just managed to avoid killing everyone on board. A few more feet to the right and they would have gone under the rake, and more than likely all be dead. Instead they just stopped very suddenly, and everyone got some bumps and bruises. The saddest part of that particular incident is that the Grady White was coming from the tug’s starboard and technically had right of way. However they were traveling at close to 30knots, and didn’t answer the radio or pay any attention to the tugs whistle signals. The tug was only doing 7-10 knots, and therefore was the proverbial turtle, speed is control in a crossing situation.
Now the accident that occurred on the Hudson is even worse. Two people missing are missing, after hitting a moored barge at a high rate of speed. Folks, choose a sober driver even on the water! When in doubt, SLOW DOWN! It could save your life!

About newenglandwaterman

1600 Master Near Coastal, Master of Towing Vessels, and a whole binder full of other pieces of paper. You can find me at the controls, hooked up and hard over, when I'm not at home playing with the dogs
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