Boating Fail: Bashing Bridges

Safely navigate spans and avoid bashing bridges.

Cruising under bridges usually isn’t a big deal. Sure, the tip of your VHF antenna might get a workout from time to time, but for the most part it’s an uneventful few seconds. However, what if you’re boating in unfamiliar waters? Throw in some wind, current and boat traffic and suddenly things can get interesting…and dangerous. So what can you do to avoid ending up like our Boating Fail friend below?

Before even hitting the water take a good look at where you're cruising. Planning your route ahead of time can help you properly time tide and water levels, avoid trouble spots, and prepare for certain scenarios. You should also know the height of your boat in case you encounter any low bridges. On approach to the bridge take it slow and see how other boaters are navigating through it. Do your best to get a good sense of how any wind or current present will affect your boat before reaching the bridge. Finally, don't rush it. Contact the bridge to confirm clearance or to request an opening. With some planning and patience you'll easily navigate under bridges instead of into them.