‘Inconvenient’ reality on the water


JULY 31 — A Vermont man traveling to Florida on a custom made boat to raise awareness about environmental issues ran into trouble Wednesday when the boat was swamped on the Hudson River by the wake of a passing vessel.

Colin Cote, who is 47 and of Waterbury, Vt., was making a quick stop at a marina on the Hudson near Hyde Park, N.Y., when a passing boat kicked up what Cote described as a 5-foot wake that swamped his pirogue, named “The Inconvenient Truth,” and sent some of his supplies overboard, news reports say.

Members of the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office dive team helped Cote recover many of the items that went overboard, including a motor, batteries and his anchor, reports say. Other items such as clothes, a laptop, a PFD and an acoustic guitar had been stored in floating waterproof boxes.

Cote, a retired engineer, built the wooden boat in his backyard and outfitted it with electric motors, a piece of a dock for the seat and car batteries, reports say. Cote was six days into a two-month journey from Vermont to Fort Myers, Fla., to raise peoples’ awareness about the environment. Former Vice President Al Gore’s global warming documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” apparently inspired the boat’s name.

The accident also cracked the boat’s hull, according to reports. Cote intended to repair the damage and get under way again soon.

— Jason Fell