Environmental groups propose safety measures for Hudson

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Poughkeepsie Journal: Environmental groups are recommending a variety of safety initiatives to further protect the Hudson River, including limiting where barges and tankers can anchor on the Hudson.

Recommendations from Riverkeeper, Scenic Hudson and Hudson River Sloop Clearwater include further traffic management and control of vessels, stepping up oil spill response, increasing captains’ and pilots’ access to tide, current and fog conditions, and launching a Harbor Safety Committee for the Hudson River.

The groups made the recommendations during a series of safety workshops organized earlier this month by the U.S. Coast Guard.

John Lipscomb, the boat captain for Riverkeeper, said recommendations from the environmental groups, included:

  • Extend the Vessel Traffic Service, which coordinates large commercial vessel movements up to the Holland Tunnel, up to Albany.
  • Enhance the Automatic Identification System, which allows vessels to broadcast through their radios, to be broadcast via satellite throughout the entire river.
  • Enhance the boater safety education with a focus on small recreational boats, to help avoid crashes between large commercial vessels and small boats.
  • Expand the Harbor Safety Committee, which is currently limited to New York Harbor, to stakeholders on the Hudson from New York City up to Albany.
  • Allow large vessels to have access to the cameras on the bridges. “If they could look ahead and see if there is fog they can be better prepared to handle those conditions,” said Lipscomb, who has been patrolling the Hudson River for 17 years.  Read more.
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