Fog in Newport, RI harbor

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Senior Member
Jun 21, 2014
Vessel Name
Vessel Make
Kadey Krogen 52
The other night/morning the fog here was particularly thick. Maybe a few hundred feet of visibility. We could hear a couple of ship's fog horns from our boat when we woke up. Wondering who was out there I turned on the nav system and AIS and saw at least six cargo ships anchored in the area. Two were centered on the channel near the Pell bridge. Some were outbound, some inbound, per their AIS info. It seems odd to me that none would be moving as we have fog here all the time and the ships rarely even slow down, much less anchor.
So my question is, is there some sort of rule or regulation that forces them to anchor when the visibility gets really bad? Maybe the pilot boats refused to come out? Just a coincidence that all six captains chose to anchor? Company policy? Anybody know?
Nope, no federal or state rules. Maybe some internal company policy but doubt it.
USCG Captain of the Port can shut it down.

C&D canal closes for fog, even recreational vessel prohibited.
USCG Captain of the Port can shut it down.

C&D canal closes for fog, even recreational vessel prohibited.

That sounds plausible. Sort of looked like ships just stopped where they were when they got the word.
Probably a coincidence. Another thought is that they were just killing time. They have certain appointment times at their final destinations so if there is a delay at the terminal then maybe they were instructed to hold up for a certain amount of time. Did you check their itinerary? Were they headed to Boston or NJ?

Up here (Boston Harbor) you will see lots of huge fuel tankers just anchored outside the channel. No rhyme or reason to it (to me anyways).
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Possible, but unlikely that all six ships in range of my AIS were anchored, and two were close to the bridge in the channel, which isnt their typical loitering site. Two were sending outbound destinations but I don't remeber their destinations.
I see the pilot boats running around all the time, their slips are near mine, so I will ask them.
Port Operations uses VHF channel 14 in that area, I believe. A switch to that channel might have shed some light on what is going on. That place is like a conga line of inbound and outbound traffic. ( I hate it when they accidentally broadcast on HIGH, you can pick up the chatter all the way to Shelter Island and Montauk).

Can commercial vessels over a certain size pass under the bridge when visibility drops below a certain distance?
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