This 28 minute documentary-style safety video is the culmination of two years of filming. The content was collected by five individual boating sub chapters: The Pilot, The Paddlers, The Sailors, The Motor Boaters and Operation Clear Channel.

Along with Liberty Yacht Club’s Vice Commodore, Jim Chambers, the video seeks to tell the first-hand story of how to operate safely and how to work together as one tribe of mariners in the Port of New York and New Jersey.

The video originally appeared on website and was made using a grant from the State of NJ Dept of Transportation Maritime Division IBoatNJ Program. John Rako was the Executive Producer.

What Are Your (Float) Plans?

How often have you experienced someone going out for a sail or a fishing trip and you don’t know where they went or how long they would be gone? Sometimes, you’re waiting a long time and you haven’t heard from them. Is their phone dead? Are they out of cellular or VHF radio range? Did the boat breakdown? Did something worse happen? These are thoughts that may be coursing through your mind – or your family’s mind if you’re the one who’s out, and they think you are overdue back.

A float plan can help to reduce the stress and anxiety of people who may be waiting onshore and should be an important safety item of anyone venturing out for a cruise, a fishing trip or an offshore passage. Even if you’re just out for a harbor cruise, letting someone know where you are going can work wonders if something unexpected happens while you are out on the water and have no communications. It’s all about a focus on Safety First! Read more

Transiting Hell Gate

maelstronHell Gate, just the sound of it brought many a man to their knees in fear. Only a small stretch of the East River between New York Harbor and Long Island Sound, for centuries it conjured up images of a treacherous journey through whirlpools large enough to swallow ships and with wild rapids churning up giant standing waves and hidden rocks ready to rip the bottoms out of ships.

Originally named by the Dutch when New York was Nieuw-Amsterdam, Hell Gate or Hellegat was first navigated in 1614 by the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block. Since that time hundreds of ships have sunk in the narrow channel. Some historians believe that “one in 50 ships trying to run the gauntlet of Hell Gate was either damaged or sunk” with up to 1,000 ships running aground annually in Hell Gate prior to the 1850’s.

One of the most famous to have ended up at the bottom of Hell Gate was the British Revolutionary War frigate H.M.S. Hussar in 1780. Laden with millions of dollars (at the time) in gold and silver and over 150 men, she struck a rock and quickly sank. Read more

Safety at Sea

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