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Kayak Accident Highlights Risks Crowded Waterways Pose
Date Posted: 2016-09-12
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Glare from the setting sun may have blinded a ferry captain, authorities say, keeping him from seeing kayaks in the Hudson River that the ferry collided with Tuesday evening. Three kayakers were badly injured, including an 18-year-old man who had his arm almost severed.
The accident, just off waters near West 39th Street in Midtown Manhattan, highlights the risks for recreational and commercial watercraft when they share the city’s increasingly crowded waterways.
“It is a minor miracle that it hasn’t happened to some other kayaker or boater or jet-skier before,” said Eric Stiller, owner of Manhattan Kayak Co., the group that led the kayakers who were injured.
“I tell people out here, we don’t have great white sharks. I’ve got something bigger and faster than great white sharks. Out here, we’ve got ferries,” Mr. Stiller said.
A preliminary investigation determined the captain of a NY Waterway ferry, backing up from Pier 79 around 6 p.m. Tuesday, “was unable to see the kayakers behind him” before striking them, New York Police Department Chief of Patrol Carlos Gomez said Wednesday.
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