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Vessels out of the dredge loop getting stuck in the ICW

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By Suzette Cook

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend is the phrase vessels need to remember as they travel the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) in Ft. Lauderdale for the next year as Cashman Dredging and Marine Contracting Co. continues its effort to deepen the channel to 15 feet.

As of June 3, at least 7 vessels have gone aground trying to navigate around dredge equipment incorrectly.

The dredge Captain A.J. Fournier will be working on the Intracoastal Waterway Deepening Project between the SE 17th Street Bridge and the Las Olas Bridge weekdays and on select weekends from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.  

On Friday June 3 while Capt. Herbert Magney was passing the dredge operation on the west side in water measuring 11 feet deep, an 85-foot Benetti chose to navigate to the east side and went aground at low tide.

By 3 p.m. the yacht, which was arriving from another country and hadn’t cleared U.S. Customs yet, was waiting for the tide to roll in.

An 85-foot Benetti went aground trying to pass the dredge barge on the wrong side on June 3. (PHOTO/SUZETTE COOK)

An 85-foot Benetti went aground trying to pass the dredge barge on the wrong side on June 3. (PHOTO/SUZETTE COOK)

Capt. Dean Chambers who is in charge of the Captain A.J. Fournier  dredge said this is the 7th vessel that has gone aground trying to pass the dredge on the wrong side.

Chambers said that while a lot of captains have been contacting him on channel  13,16 or 67, not every vessel coming from another country or out of town has reached out to him and might be unaware of the deepening project.

“He’s still flying a customs flag so I’m assuming he’s coming from another country and he was unaware,” Chambers said about the latest vessel to misjudge the passage. “It looks like he was just coming in from Bimini.”

“I get several calls from captains every day,” Chambers said. “They have plenty of room to pass.You go on the diamond side, on the green side.”

Chambers advice for clear passage: “Slow down and pay attention to the chart and the channel marker and they’ll be alright.”

Barney Hauf director of sales at TowBoatU.S. in Ft. Lauderdale said his crew has helped out five of those vessels that have gone aground since the deepening project began on May 2.

Hauf said his two boat operators report that some of the stranded vessels appear to be watching the dredge operation activity and losing focus of the markers.

“Stay in the channel,” is Hauf’s advice.

“There’s a bifurcation channel when you’re coming westbound from Bahia Mar. Go left or right and line up the next marker.”

Stephen Tobin, vice president of Cashman Dredging and Marine Contracting Co.  encourages mariners to stay in the loop on dredge location and activity by emailing a request for the information of daily dredge locations and news to IWWDredgePosition@jaycashman.com.  

To read more about the deepening project click on this month’s cover story in The Triton.

Suzette Cook is editor at The Triton. Reach her at suzette@the-triton.com

 

Original post June 3, 2016.

By Suzette Cook

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend is the phrase vessels need to remember as they travel the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) in Ft. Lauderdale for the next year and especially this Saturday.

Stephen Tobin, vice president of Cashman Dredging and Marine Contracting Co.  announced on Friday (June 3) that the dredge Captain A.J. Fournier will be working on the Intracoastal Waterway Deepening Project between the SE 17th Street Bridge and the Las Olas Bridge from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 4. So far, the operation has been conducted Monday through Friday but Cashman has added 12 hours of operation on Saturday this week. 

A dredge position map depicting position of dredge will be sent out to anyone interested in receiving daily updates by emailing a request for the information to IWWDredgePosition@jaycashman.com.

On Friday June 3 while Capt. Herbert Magney was passing the dredge operation on the west side in water measuring 11 feet deep, an 85-foot Benetti chose to navigate to the east side and went aground at low tide.

By 3 p.m. the yacht, which was arriving from another country and hadn’t cleared U.S. Customs yet, was waiting for the tide to roll in.

An 85-foot Benetti went aground trying to pass the dredge barge on the wrong side on June 3. (PHOTO/SUZETTE COOK)

An 85-foot Benetti went aground trying to pass the dredge barge on the wrong side on June 3. (PHOTO/SUZETTE COOK)

Capt. Dean Chambers, who is in charge of the Captain A.J. Fournier  dredge, said this is the 7th vessel that has gone aground trying to pass the dredge on the wrong side.

Chambers said that while a lot of captains have been contacting him on radio channel 13,16 or 67, not every vessel coming from another country or out of town has reached out to him and might be unaware of the deepening project.

“He’s still flying a customs flag so I’m assuming he’s coming from another country and he was unaware,” Chambers said about the latest vessel to misjudge the passage. “It looks like he was just coming in from Bimini.”

“I get several calls from captains every day,” Chambers said. “They have plenty of room to pass.You go on the diamond side, on the green side.”

Chambers advice for clear passage: “Slow down and pay attention to the chart and the channel marker and they’ll be alright.”

Barney Hauf director of sales at TowBoatU.S. in Ft. Lauderdale said his crew have helped out five of those vessels that have gone aground since the deepening project began on May 2.

Daily updates show exactly where the dredge will happen each day.

Daily updates show exactly where the dredge will happen each day.

“Stay in the channel,” is Hauf’s advice.

“There’s a bifurcation channel when you’re coming westbound from Bahia Mar. Go left or right and line up the next marker.”

To read more about the deepening project click on this month’s cover story in The Triton.


Suzette Cook is editor at The Triton. Reach her at suzette@the-triton.com

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6 thoughts on “Vessels out of the dredge loop getting stuck in the ICW

  1. Capt. Kaylon

    This is what happens when you hire idiots to run your boat! Give back your crackerjack license and tell the owners to hire(and pay for) local crew!!!

  2. John Wampler

    I teach my yacht owner/operators the following phrase:

    Diamonds Good – Balls Bad

  3. Capt Richard Alcott

    I have driven past this dredge a few times and most boat operators have no clue how to safety pass the dredge and stay in the channel.
    The visibility of dredge’s lights and day shapes (indicating the safe side to pass) are very poor due to be obscured by the dredge equipment, bad positioning and weak light intensity.
    I was inbound on a 112 and meeting the outbound water taxi that dangerously crossed my bow port to stbd too close between me and the dredge.
    Better VHF consersations would be great if the dredge actually responds on VHF 13,16, 67.

  4. Michael Dailey

    That is a very embarrassing, but likely indicative statement of the level of expertise within the industry.
    We are talking boat 101 here?

  5. Capt. Ted Marshall

    Aha Ha Ha….what a dumb move! I agree 100% with the above comments. Read and learn the rule book. It’s so straight forward. Do your flash cards. I have certification 3000 tons through the MCA. They advise reading the rule book OFTEN! I try to go over it monthly, if not more often.
    Dredges can be confusing, especially meeting up with a situation in a strange port at night. This happened to me a few years ago when they were dredging Nassau Harbor. I had been in and out many times from both entrances. (100 ft motor yacht) I was entering at night and from some distance there were new markers all over the place for dredging equipment placed by a Dutch firm. These extending offshore for some distance. Most confusing. And marker lights I didn’t recognize. Hmmmm…..call Nassau Harbor control on VHF…get advice…..No problem Mon!
    Loveya Bahamas!!!!

  6. Daniel Doyle

    I happened to see the grounded vessel 3 June while outbound from new river (heading out for the Bahamas) from my position on the western side of the spoil island. He was very much aground at 3 pm. The forward half of the vessel was a good 2 feet above the afloat waterline. An interesting situation a as the safe pass side of the dredge (west side) was the working side with the huge backhoe style bucket and was somewhat of the intimidating side even though it was the safe side. The east side of the dredge was visually more inviting, but clearly the wrong side. This is just the kind of situation that the prudent or confused mariner should make that radio call to the dredge. The intercoastal channel intersection with New river here is of interest as the dredge was located on the eastern side of the actual intercoastal waterway between two exits from New River that leave a popular triangular shoal isolated between the 3 deep water passages. In this situation it would have been possible to enter from the south the southern channel to New River and exit the eastern New River channel returning to the ICW north bound. The simplest thing though is just call the dredge. – Captain Dan Doyle –

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