Part of New York Waterway’s generous sponsorship of HarborLAB was used to buy marine radios to help us maintain safety through communication with other harbor users. THANK YOU!
Our living estuary is also a working harbor. Wise paddlers heed the motto, “Do everything to be seen and be heard. Then assume you’re not seen and not heard.” In other words, use whistles or horns, and more importantly use marine radios, to let larger vessels know where you are. Get brightly colored boats, life vests, and paddles and exceed legal navigation light requirements for canoes and kayaks. Then, having accomplished all that, stay out of the way!
We certainly have freedom of navigation rights, but paddlers must understand that even skillfully captained large vessels need plenty of room to stop and steer. We must make quick and controlled channel crossings and be mindful of traffic patterns. Using VHF radios, paddlers can usually anticipate traffic by listening to other mariners’ announced course headings. Some modern marine radios, like this model we purchased, have built-in global positioning system transponders to speed help to the scene in an emergency.