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Featured Stories on Boating and Boater Safety

An inside look at a Coast Guard ‘situation room’

Marine journalists were briefed on the Coast Guard's search-and-rescue system in Miami.The green overhead light at the back of the cavernous room is on, which means the Seventh Coast Guard District Command Center is in unclassified mode.

Outfitted with banks of computer monitors, oversized electronic situation maps and television screens, the secure complex on the eighth floor of the Brickell Plaza Federal Building in Miami is the nerve center for the district’s operations.

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Paralympic dream drives ex-yacht captain

Jody Hill’s dream is to sail for the United States as a Paralympian.

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Rowing for their lives in a 9-foot dinghy

Lady Rosalie - a 41-foot Hatteras - had more than 2 inches of glass at the keel, but she was no match for the semisubmerged object she struck en route to Bimini.Mike Ayres knew as soon as he started to row that it was a race against time, one he might well lose unless he just kept rowing. And so he did.

Ayres, 46, rowed across the Straits of Florida through 15-foot seas for roughly 48 hours while first mate Dillon Moore, 19, bailed in a desperate attempt to keep their 9-foot dinghy from sinking or drifting into the Atlantic on the Gulf Stream in a strengthening south wind. “I figured, boy, I better raise the bar and not stop rowing until we’re either dead or we’re safe,” says Ayres, a snowbird from Onondaga, Mich., who lives aboard in the Florida Keys during the winter.

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An 18-foot great white sizes up a 21-foot boat

John Watson thought the great white shark was two sunfish when it first surfaced.John Watson was raising his center console’s anchor when he saw two fins emerge from the placid water.
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Will LightSquared mean lights out for GPS?

LightSquared's broadband network threatens to disrupt GPS navigation at sea, on land and in the air.As a rule of thumb, marine electronics manufacturers assume that nearly every boat on the water carries GPS in one form or another, and that effectively gives boaters membership in a larger group called the “GPS community.” The group found its voice for the first time this year in the face of a common enemy.

Backed by a hedge-fund billionaire, a company called LightSquared wants to build a 4G broadband communications network, and the Federal Communications Commission has given its initial approval. GPS manufacturers and users are horrified, believing that LightSquared’s plan would disrupt navigation on land and sea and in the air.

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