On the first day of basic search-and-rescue courses, students at the Coast Guard training center in Yorktown, Virginia, review the facts and lessons learned from the Morning Dew tragedy. The Cal 34 ran up on the north jetty at the entrance to the harbor in Charleston, South Carolina, on a cold, rainy December night in 1997.
Valerie Jones has been fighting anchorage restrictions on Florida waters for 25 years. The former president of Concerned Boaters, a now-defunct group that advocated for anchoring rights, Jones was one of the 60-odd cruisers attending a workshop in Vero Beach last year to talk about possible changes to Florida’s anchorage law that would return to municipalities some of the authority they used to have to restrict anchoring.
When Charles Thayer read that 32 passenger trains a day would not impact navigation on Fort Lauderdale’s New River, he was stunned.
“Thirty-two trains a day crossing that bridge?” he says. “Why hadn’t I heard about this?”
How could an environmental assessment of the first phase of All Aboard Florida, a proposed high-speed passenger service from Miami to Orlando, conclude that the stretch from Miami to Palm Beach wouldn’t interfere with navigation or require the Coast Guard to weigh in when it would close drawbridges to boat traffic 32 times a day?
The Jeannette Expedition of 1881, a mission doomed to failure, was undermined by hubris and overcome by catastrophe.
On a high overlook at the historic U.S. Naval Academy cemetery is a large and mysterious pyramidal mound of granite surmounted by a 12-foot-high cross of white marble, strangely draped in sculpted cascades resembling ice. A bronze anchor lies atop a plaque that reads: “Commemorative of the heroic officers and men of the United States Navy who perished in the Jeannette Arctic Exploring Expedition, 1881.”
A white marble cross draped in formative “icicles” carved in high relief, it is heavily soiled and sorely in need of attention. Its original bronze memorial plaque was replaced in 1965 and cleaned and treated in 1994, and it is in readable condition. But a second bronze plaque, containing selected names of Navy men who perished in the 1881 Arctic expedition, is blackened and illegible.
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