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I launched my boat yesterday, March 21st, at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ. This was my first cruise of the year and along with exploring the harbor I was planning on breaking in my new 6 HP Nissan kicker. I was the only pleasure boat in the harbor and the lower Hudson, the temperature was about 65 degrees and the winds light with an outgoing tide. There were several NYPD boats, two Coast Guard patrol boats, one 87' Coast Guard Cutter, one 82'Coast Guard Auxiliary (ex-Coast Guard) patrol boat, and one NJ State Police patrol boat.
In the first ten minutes I was stopped by a CG patrol boat for an ID check; after about 20 minutes they decided I was okay (being a Coast Guard retiree), gave us a tour of their new SAFE boat and sent us on our way. Then I got checked by the NYPD over by the Brooklyn Bridge, then I got stopped by another CG patrol boat, then in the middle of the harbor I was surrounded by a fleet of every police and Coast Guard boat in the area. The cox'n on the first boat that stopped us told everyone I was okay and they all backed off, but they advised me to leave the area.
The bottom line is that they are doing a great job of securing the harbor and lower Husdon, but in my case at least at the expense of a pleasure boater who was well within the law. The other thing that struck me and my crew was that there appeared to be no coordination between any of the boats or agencies. You would think that after being cleared on the first stop the other units would known or have been advised that I had been stopped and cleared.
Anyhow, you can rest easy knowing that NY Harbor is well protected. A small post script: I made the 10 PM news on WABC Radio Friday night - only according to my neighbor who heard the broadcast, the reporter stated that I had no right being there. This is interesting because I visited Liberty State Park today on foot and saw a dozen pleasure boaters in the harbor who were unmolested by the Coast Guard or police.
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