Boating News

Does Someone Need A Power Squadron Refresher?

A couple of recent marine accidents make me wonder if some of the professionals need to take a Power and Sail Squadron refresher course. Perhaps navigation?

In the first case a professional pilot working in San Francisco Bay crashed an empty oil tanker into the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Apparently the damage was ‘relatively’ minor, but it is still somewhere north of $500,000. The pilot in question has had a few more ‘oops’ events in the last few years. Looks like he could use a navigation refresher. Here are some details.

The second more serious accident happened in New York City as one of the commuter ferries rammed into the dock injuring at least 57 people, 11 of them seriously. There may be some extenuating circumstances, but it still would be good for them to take a refresher. Here is a link to more information.

Taking a course with the Parry Sound Power and Sail Squadron is a great way to learn important navigation and boat handling skills from experienced boaters and sailors. Here’s a link to more for more information.

Parry Sound October 2012

Copegog Dock Repaired

We went by yesterday and saw that the Copegog picnic area dock, one of our favourite quick stop spots in the Georgian Bay Biosphere,  had been repaired in the last couple of weeks. I’m not sure who is responsible but they have our thanks and appreciation. Unlike earlier in the season (as shown below) the dock is able to accommodate as many as four boats in the 20 to 30 foot size range.

Copegog docks before the August repair. (For scale that’s a 21 foot Scout tied up to the dock).

Coast Guard Radio – Changes Planned

The federal government plans to close the Coast Guard Radio Station at Thunder Bay and move the services it provides to Sarnia by 2014.

Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio is a considered by many boaters to be a vital communications link for marine traffic on Georgian Bay.

The plan is that Sarnia will monitor VHF  Channel 16, the International Distress Channel, for the Canadian waters of  Lake Superior, St. Mary’s River, the North Channel, Lake Huron, Georgian  Bay, the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers, Lake St. Clair, and the western portion of Lake Erie as well as broadcast important weather and safety information.

CAW Local 2182, which represents Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio, is presently mounting a public awareness campaign, to state that moving these communications services further away from the areas they serve as a cost cutting measure may put lives at risk.

They are asking that boaters who feel strongly about this issue write their MP.

Yacht Accident a Reminder to Boat Safe and Boat Smart

There was a report today that 3 children were killed in a boating accident off of New York’s Long Island. The 1984 Silverton of unspecified length was carrying 27 people at the time it capsized Wednesday night after watching the local fireworks (sound familiar?). Twenty-four passengers and crew were rescued by fellow boaters but the children, 8, 11 and 12 were apparently trapped below deck. There are reports the boat was swamped by another vessel which can only suggest the boat was unreasonably overloaded.

If you are reading this you already know better. But it’s still a good idea to point out potential safety risks to other boaters that got the ‘card’ but didn’t get the ‘education’. It may annoy them, but ‘better safe than sorry’.

It was fun watching local boaters, I estimate more than 200 boats, leave after the Canada Day fireworks in Parry Sound. They were smart enough to be careful because there certainly is the opportunity for an accident with that many boats heading down the South Channel.

Canada Day – No Boat Zone

The Parry Sound Chamber of Commerce has asked us to let people know that there is a ‘no boat’ zone with respect to the firework display on Canada Day. Should any boats float into the prohibited zone the fireworks will be stopped at once. So please let others know about the ‘no boat’ zone so there will be no interruption of what usually is a spectacular fireworks display.

I’ll be onshore taking photos of the fireworks and the squadron sail-past for the next issue of the Bridge.