Skip to main content

News Notes Long Island Sound April 07

Ferry captain sentenced for fraudulent license

A Hoboken, N.J., man was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Manhattan Feb. 6 to two five-month terms of confinement, to run concurrently, followed by three years of supervised release after he pled guilty to piloting a passenger ferry with a fraudulent Coast Guard Masters License and making false statements to the federal government.

Lenny Roman, 29, piloted the 79-foot water taxi Little Lady when the vessel lost propulsion and required a tow Jan. 13, 2006, during a transit from Jersey City, N.J., to Manhattan. During a Coast Guard marine casualty investigation, officers determined that the Coast Guard’s Master’s License Roman possessed was a fake. Roman fled Jan. 19, 2006, when Coast Guard Investigative Service agents attempted to interview him at his home.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York secured an arrest warrant on Feb. 14, 2006. Coast Guard Investigative Service agents and U.S. Marshals arrested Roman Feb. 17, 2006, at a residence in West New York, N.J. A grand jury indicted Roman a month later on one count of misuse of a federal certificate, document or license (18 U.S.C. § 2197) and one count of making false statements in a matter within the jurisdiction of the federal government (18 U.S.C. § 1001), both felony offenses.

The investigation and prosecution of Roman included Coast Guard Sector New York, Coast Guard Investigative Service, First Coast Guard District Legal Office, U.S. Marshals Service, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

Roman worked as a ferry captain from September 2005 until January 2006 for the Jersey City-based Harbor Ferry, LLC.

The Coast Guard Masters License allows the holder to operate inspected vessels that are certified by the Coast Guard to carry more than six paying passengers plus crew. Ferry boats, harbor tours boats, whale watching boats are examples of inspected vessels.Mariners may qualify for Masters Licenses for inland waters and near-coastal waters. The level of license a mariner may hold depends on experience and size of vessel rated by tonnage. In order to obtain a valid license, mariners must complete a rigorous training and examination program, and are subject to a comprehensive background check.

For more information on Coast Guard licensing, visit or read 46 CFR, Chapter 1, Part 10 – Licensing of Maritime Personnel at

CG safe boating course offered in Norwalk, Conn.

America’s Boating Course, designed to satisfy the requirements for the mandatory Connecticut Safe Boating and Personal Watercraft Operation certificates, will be offered by Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 72 on several Saturdays in the coming months.

The comprehensive one-day course and test, covering all major aspects of safe boating, including: types of boats, safety equipment, state boating laws, boat handling, radio communications and personal watercraft operation, will be offered on March 10, March 31 and April 21.

Classes are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the DominicLamettaTrainingCenter located near the southern end of CalfPastureBeach in Norwalk. The fee is $80 and includes study guide, CD-ROM and lunch. Upon registering early, students have the option of receiving their course materials in advance, to make the most of class time.

To register or for additional course information, contact Peggy Bonhage, at or (203) 846-8471.

WalkerBay Boats extends its hull warranty

Walker Bay Boats has extended its factory-backed warranty on all injection molded hulls, including the Original and Genesis lines, moving from five to 10 years.

“We have put the hulls through rigorous testing and have even hit it with a sledge hammer and driven over it with a truck to illustrate the extremes that our hulls can withstand as opposed to aluminum or fiberglass hulls,” says Michael Carroll, director of marketing for Walker Bay Boats.

WalkerBay boats are manufactured using an injection molding process. Precisely pre-measured UV-protected polypropylene resin is injected with a force of over 8,000 tons into a mold that can weigh up to 82 tons. It is then cooled to take the shape of the mold.

To see video footage of what the WalkerBay hull can take in abuse, go to

Group urges action on CT clean water program

The environmental advocacy group Save the Sound praised Conn. Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s proposal to significantly increase state funding for the Clean Water Fund, but said more needs to be done.

While the governor’s proposed $245 million investment in clean water over two years more than triples funding, Save the Sound is urging the governor and the legislature to increase the $70 million in proposed general revenue bonds toward the Clean Water Fund.

“But while the proposed increase is welcomed, it is only about half of what we need to get us back on track toward meeting basic goals that the state, towns and the federal Environmental Protection Agency unanimously agreed to,” said Curt Johnson, senior attorney and program director with Connecticut Fund for the Environment.

Johnson said more needs to be done to meet the federal mandate of restoring the Sound’s low-oxygen Dead Zone by 2014 and curbing pollution caused by runoff from storms.

Trawler event steams into East Coast ports

Trawler Fest events are coming to theEast Coast in 2007.

Part boat show, part rendezvous, Trawler Fest is a three-day gathering of trawlers and trawler enthusiasts.

Dozens of boats are at the docks for boarding. Seminars are scheduled throughout the show. An in-depth two-day session, named PassageMakerUniversity, is also offered.

Trawler Fest is presented by PassageMaker magazine, which, like Soundings, is owned by Dominion Enterprises.

The 2007 line-up kicks off Jan. 25-27 in Stuart, Fla., at the Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort and Marina. Subsequent Trawler Fests will be held June 7-9 in Poulsbo, Wash.; Aug. 2-4 in Mystic, Conn.; and Sept. 27-29 in Solomons, Md.

For details, visit or call (888) 487-2953.

Lighthouse festival winners announced

The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk has announced the winners of its fifth annual Festival of Lighthouses contest. Chosen by visitors to The Maritime Aquarium, who cast nearly 8,000 votes between Nov. 18 and Jan. 16, the winning lighthouses span a wide variety of styles from accurate depictions of actual lighthouses to more artistic and abstract creations. The winners are:

• First place: John Sudell of Greenwich for “Kaleidoscope,” an intricate stained-glass lighthouse;

• Second place: Michele Howard, Alicia Seda, Christine Flanigan and Irene Benny of The Ursaline School in New Rochelle for “The Light in the Attic,” a whimsical tree-house style lighthouse;

• Third place: Ed Kusinski of Trumbull for “Cedar Shoals,” his lighthouse model sided with cedar shingles;

• Fourth place: Pamela Riley-Abear of Stamford for “Pelican Island Lighthouse,” a creative and crafty lighthouse topped with a ceramic pelican;

• Fifth place: Steven Wright of Yorktown Heights for his detailed “Cape Hatteras” lighthouse reproduction;

• Sixth place: Moeba K. Nsenga, Kenza Moubchir and Brian Miranda of Bassick High School in Bridgeport for “Bassick Lighthouse Museum,” a high-tech inspired lighthouse with a purpose.