Saturday, July 23, 2005

Keep Your Boat Away from the Ferry

The Coast Guard is sending boats out to maintain a 300-yard security zone around local ferries, and has increased patrols on the ferries themselves. From the sound of it in this Providence Journal story, they take their job seriously:

"We'll do whatever is necessary to keep the security zone open. We'll take any means necessary to protect. . . . We'll go as far as to shoot," said Petty Officer Lucas Marland, 23, who served as coxswain. The four crew members wore bulletproof vests beneath their life jackets and carried 9mm Beretta handguns. Seaman Phillip Montoya, 30, stood lookout with an M-16.

Marland ... took the loudspeaker. "All vessels stop on this side of the channel. Wait till the ferry goes outbound," he called to the half-dozen small fishing boats making their way toward the western gap in the breakwater.

Most complied without hesitation. One testy fisherman in a wide-brimmed hat waved Marland off. "Don't argue," Marland commanded.

Their threshold is a minimum of 150 passengers. ProJo says there are 300 such ferries nationwide, 110 of them from New York to the Canadian border.


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