Barges at night

Discussion in 'Boat Safety' started by duxsrus, May 11, 2006.

  1. duxsrus

    duxsrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,014
    State:
    SW Ohio
    That last thread got me thinking about something. I cross the Ohio River twice on my way to work every morning. I can't tell you how many times I've seen barges with navigation lights burnt out. I've also been out fishing and seen barges with lights burnt out, which can be a real pain in the arse to navigate around. One night I even heard one pilot tell another pilot that he had a light missing, and the guy was like "I'll see if I can't get somebody around to fixing that tonight". Not, "I'll take care of it ASAP!" For as little lighting as them big SOB's are required to have, you'd think they would make sure that it all works. Of course they don't need to worry about anything because they run radar.:roll_eyes:
     
  2. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    That cotton pickin barge that ran into the support of a bridge spanning the Ark River in Oklahoma was darn sure a big one. Knocked the supports right out from under the bridge. Of course this was daylight and had nothing to do with lights. The health of the tug's captain was an issue... but once they got that big SOB going, they weren't going to stop it on a dime. They are dangerous.
     

  3. vlparrish

    vlparrish New Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    State:
    Bedford, Kentucky
    No they don't need to worry about anything because I doubt that any Barge crewman ever got harmed by a barge running over a 16 foot boat, the bank or for that matter a bridge pillar. They will dodge you if they have a choice, but turning something that's 500 feet long and still staying in the channel of a river is a feat all it's own. When in doubt get out of their way, kinda like semis on the rod they are bigger than me so they can have the right of way. Also I haven't seen them new fangled boats with brakes on them yet. Just my two cents worth. Vern
     
  4. Raypo

    Raypo New Member

    Messages:
    21
    State:
    oklahoma
    They think there the lion king of the water
     
  5. copycat

    copycat New Member

    Messages:
    1,841
    State:
    New Jersey
    Man that is scary! Need to be extra carefull in the fog as well.
     
  6. IL Hunter

    IL Hunter New Member

    Messages:
    1,574
    State:
    Normal, IL
    Where I fish on the river it's not very wide so it could be a very dangerous situation. I guess the best thing to do would be keep and eye on the drawbridges.
     
  7. Fatkat

    Fatkat New Member

    Messages:
    979
    State:
    Blanchester, Ohio
    They are, the bigger vessel has the right of way. Stay out of their way should be rule #1. :smile2:
     
  8. ka_c4_boom

    ka_c4_boom New Member

    Messages:
    2,252
    State:
    Bedford,Ky
    i aint seen a boat yet that could tangle with a barge and win lol you best stay out of there way
     
  9. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    There are places where the channel runs right up next to the bank, so you need to be really careful not to get caught between a barge and the bank in a spot like that. If there's a bend in the river, or if it's night, that just makes it even more dangerous.
     
  10. BigCat72

    BigCat72 New Member

    Messages:
    337
    State:
    OHIO
    ya never seems to fail,when your in a great spot getting lots of bites the barge traffic always picks up and of course you have to move,,lol
     
  11. What's bad is the stretch of river I like to fish is a one way. It's so narrow that only one tow can go up or down. Fishing boats just have to get to the bank when they pass. Better not get caught on the outside of a bend because some of these pilots aren't above scraping the bluffs as they come down river. What I really have to watch out for is that some of these newer tow boats can be pretty quiet. Couple that with a dead zone as far as the engine noise being muffled directly ahead of the tow and I really have to keep a heads up attitude every time I'm on the water.
     
  12. TeamCatHazzard

    TeamCatHazzard New Member

    Messages:
    517
    State:
    Illinois
    Sometimes those barges can be dangerous, that is a good point about the lights. Especially sometimes when its really dark in parts with no drydocks or anything. But like said before, when in doubt stay outta the way them big ole things cant stop on a dime.
     
  13. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    I also think they are the Lion King of the water.If you don;t think so,don;t move.You will change your mind if you survive.They are sort of like a freight train on the track.They have a channel that they have to operate in and it takes a long way to stop them.I have boated a lot in and around Tow boats with barges and ocean going ships.You have to look out for and stay out of their way.They very seldom have a way to avoid you.Even in the open ocean,it takes miles for some of the large ships or ocean going barges and tugs to turn or stop.I have always found my fellow small boaters to be far more dangerous,and have killed far more people.I have seen recreational boaters run clean up in the woods and once up in a bunch of people.Your life depends on you looking out for them.You only have to forget it once.You see a boat of any kind without the proper lights,report it.peewee-williams
     
  14. catfish361

    catfish361 New Member

    Messages:
    49
    State:
    Blacklick, Ohio
    the best thing to remeber on the river is that. He who is bigger has the right away. So if you don't want to move out of there way it can be pretty hard on you.
    The barges have all kinds of radar and know you are there. Most of the time if not all the time they will light you up with thier spot light. When on the river you never want to get stuck on the inside or outside bends. The wake from the tug can get a little rough. I awlays have an escape route incase a bardge breaks away or swings too wide. So I guess what I am getting at is the lights on the bardge is one of my last concerns. Just be smart and safe and they will let you know they are there.
     
  15. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    Seriously folks, Never underestimate these critter's ability to sneak up on you, lights or not.
    It's hard to belive that something that big could get that close without you noticing but they sure can!
    Be sure to watch out for the ones that are moored to the bank also... I have run in the fog and passed so close I could reach out and touch them... Got lucky...
    Remember, when you are out on the water, you are playing for keeps...
    All the safety rules were first learned the hard way by someone.
     
  16. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    RADAR.Don,t bet your life on being seen.Unless you are in a aluminum boat,your outboard motor may be the best reflector you have,and it has a non metal cowl.Fiberglass and wood are poor reflectors where radar is concerned.I bought and fished out of a high sided aluminum boat after talking to members of the Coast Guard about Radar and being seen.Even then,it will hopefully give a large vessel a chance to warn you to GET OUT OF THE WAY!You can also be lost in the "background clutter"on a radar screen.If you fish in a area where it could be helpful,you can purchase the reflectors that they mount on sailing vessels.Many of these sail boats are far larger than us fishermen,and they feel the need.When fishing on still foggy nights in the Savannah river channels and harbor entrance,I would often feel the vibration of a large ocean going vessel before I heard it.Gunfire,blasting,and a lifetime around machinery has not helped my hearing.Floating debris is also a very real danger,as it can be huge.Radar has come a long way since I qualified for my Radar watches in the navy,but it ain;t perfect.ALSO,it is no better than the operator.On a large vessal offshore,he could be reading a book while on auto pilot(for real).Luck,peewee-williams
     
  17. Chance

    Chance New Member

    Messages:
    26
    State:
    United states
    QWe fish the intercoastal waterway alot I got to hand it to barge captains when they pass us they slow way down you usally can hear them big catapiller engines gear down when approaching small boats lik ours along the tributaries then they will blow their horn or wave .Now ive seen some fools try to run the barge to get around them from one cut to another thats stuipid man those things cant stop on a dime
     
  18. dougc

    dougc Active Member

    Messages:
    1,709
    State:
    Independen
    On the Missouri at Sugar Creek last night, on the way back to the boat ramp had a barge coming upriver at us with no lights on. We were moving at a pretty good clip, when all of a sudden we've got 3-4 spotlights on us and we see this behemoth coming at us! The sand dredge company thought it was a good night to move their barges, and we couldn't fish any spot for more than 30 minutes before we would have a fully loaded barge coming and we would have to move. It would take 10-15 minutes for the Titanic size waves to subside and we could even anchor again. Slow night for fishing, but a lot of action anyway!
     
  19. fishhook

    fishhook New Member

    Messages:
    658
    State:
    Willow Woo
    Here in the tri-state we had an accident a few weeks ago involving a barge at night which ran over a bass boat with three men aboard, two swam to shore and the third was found down river two days later. The accident was blamed on the men in the bassboat being drunk on the river at night. It was said that they were not fishing. I fish the Ohio river and I can tell you that a barge tow can be on top of you before you know it so I try to stay out of the traffic lanes but we have just as many fishermen in small boats run over by the party people in their speed boats or idiots on jet ski's running into you so it pays to be careful no matter where you fish.
     
  20. derbycitycatman

    derbycitycatman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,296
    State:
    Kentucky
    One of the last times I went fishing on the river the fog was really bad. We decided to launch anyway but only stay right around the dock until the sun came up. Thank god we did. As soon as we launched the boat a barge we didnt see blew its horns and bout knocked us both out of the boat. If we were to have gone on like normal I would have drove right into the barge. The barge was sitting out in the middle of the river waiting for the fog to leave. It took about a half hour before I could see its lights and it was probably less than 100 yards away.

    Be careful on any waterway where barges are. They cant always see you and they certainly cant stop quickly.