WORKBOAT WATCH > REC TRAFFIC IS A BIG SAFETY PROBLEM ON RIVERS
WorkBoat Watch - Rec traffic is a big safety problem on rivers - WorkBoat.com
David Krapf, Editor-in-Chief Rec traffic is a big safety problem on rivers
February 5, 2015
Inland and Great Lakes mariners know all about what appears to be a growing problem on the waterways — reckless recreational boaters.
Fellow blogger and WorkBoat columnist Capt. Alan Bernstein has been very vocal on the issue — something his Cincinnati-based passenger vessel operation deals with almost daily — in his blogs and columns.
Alan and other mariners have a plethora of stories to tell about sharing the waters with recreational boaters: Anchor lights versus running lights, no VHF radios, no concept of right-of-way or wheelhouse vision, etc.
In next month’s cover story in WorkBoat, Dale DuPont writes about the issue. Dale found out that close calls have become all too common. Kayaks have bounced off commercial vessels and mariners have had to go into reverse to avoid hitting people. And if there’s an accident, mariners fear the bigger boat will be blamed no matter who’s at fault.
So what about standards? Professional mariners must be licensed and trained, so how about recreational boaters? Well, it depends. In her investigation, Dale found that mandatory education primarily for motorized craft varies widely by state and only two require licenses. However, the waters, especially around big cities like Chicago, are becoming increasingly clogged not only with runabouts and cruisers but also with canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and the like.
Sharing the waterways is a given. But mariners would prefer sharing it with a more informed crowd. Be sure to read Dale’s cover story report in the March issue of WorkBoat.
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