Safety Pages

Articles and links to things that are Safety Related




BULLETIN NO:  16/057 TEL:  (757) 638-6637, FAX (757) 483-8641

DATE:  September 1, 2016

Proposed Channel Restrictions James River Bridge (US 17 & VA 258)

MM 5.0 on the James River

Mariners are advised that an engineering firm, on behalf of the Virginia Department of Transportation, will be performing maintenance and repairs to the aerial electrical cable connecting the north tower to the south tower at the James River Bridge (US 17 and VA 258) across the James River, river mile 5.0, between Isle of Wight and Newport News, VA.

To affect repairs, the firm is proposing to have the bridge in the closed-to-navigation position between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. from September 19, 2016, to September 30, 2016; with alternate dates and times are from October 1, 2016, through October 9, 2016, from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

During closure periods, the bridge will not be able to open for emergencies due to a 55-foot by 150-foot crane barge being positioned alongside the bridge at various locations within the main navigation span of the bridge.  The vertical clearance of the bridge in the closed position is 60 feet above mean high water.  The horizontal clearance of the main navigation span of the bridge with the crane barge alongside the bridge will vary from approximately 145 feet to 290 feet.

Vessels able to safely pass through the bridge in the closed position with the crane barge positioned alongside the bridge may do so at anytime.  Prior to transiting, vessels shall contact the bridge tender to request information concerning the position of the crane barge to ensure safe passage.

Vessels able to safely pass through the bridge in the closed position that require the crane barge to clear the main navigation span of the bridge, may do so at 12 noon, daily, if at least 2 hours advance notice is given to the bridge tender.

Vessels unable to pass through the bridge in the closed position with the crane barge positioned alongside the bridge should adjust their voyage plans accordingly.  Mariners should use extreme caution when transiting the area.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, contact USCG Sector Hampton Roads, Waterways Management Division at (757) 668-5580 or



What You Should Know About Buying and Using Sunglasses

By P/C Bob Eure, AP

We have heard the warnings about ultraviolet (UV) rays and the need to wear sunglasses to protect our eyes from damage and discomfort.  Experts recommend sunglasses that reflect or filter out 99-100 % of UVA and UVB light, with wavelengths up to 400 nm (nanometers). Sunglasses which meet this requirement are often labeled as "UV400."  The US transmittance standard for sunglasses, ANSI Z80.3-2001, should be displayed on the label.  This level of protection does not protect against looking directly at the sun or welding in progress, but should cover most other outdoor protection needs.  If you’re also looking for impact resistance, the US standard, ANSI Z87.1-2003, should also be displayed on the label.

Sunglasses with polarized lenses reduce glare caused by light reflected from polarizing surfaces such as water as well as by polarized diffuse sky or solar radiation. This can be especially useful when boating, fishing, or generally being in close view of water such as pools, docks, and the waterfront.

The color of the lenses is important as well.  Gray and green lenses are considered neutral because they maintain true colors.  These are best for the sunny blue sky days.  Orange and yellow lenses increase both contrast and depth perception. They also increase color distortion.  Yellow lenses are used by pilots, boaters, fishers, shooters, and hunters for their contrast enhancement and width perception properties.  These are best for cloudy or gray sky days because the increase in contrast has the effect of brightening your view.

There is speculation that sunglasses actually promote skin cancer.  This is due to the eyes being tricked into producing less melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) in the body.  MSH is produced by the pituitary gland, which is tied to your optic nerve, which is sensitive to sunlight. In other words, seeing sunlight triggers the production of the hormone that triggers the production of melanin, the pigment that gives you a tan. Without it, there's actually a greater likelihood of sunburn and a lower chance of sun tanning because melanin is produced to protect your skin from further UV damage.  At the same time, it's important to protect your eyes from UV damage.  To address both sides of this issue, you may consider not wearing sunglasses during the beginning of your time in the sun, so that the pituitary gland is stimulated, then put on your sunglasses for the remainder of your time in the sun.  Ten to twenty minutes should be enough time to start the MSH producing process.   

When it comes to protecting your eyes with sunglasses, you should put function before fashion.  In summary, you should consider doing the following:

1.   Buy sunglasses that meet the ANSI Z80.3-2001 transmittance standard and the ANSI Z87.1-2003 impact resistance standard.

2.   Buy sunglasses that have polarized lens to generally reduce glare and for use near and on the water.

3.   Buy a pair of gray sunglasses for sunny days and a pair of amber sunglasses for cloudy days.

4.   Wait about 15 minutes before putting on sunglasses outdoors when you plan to spend an extended time in the sun.


New CPR video - Compressions only

At one of our meetings, First Aid for Boaters was the subject and the new concept of 100 beats per minute compression only CPR was mentioned. Follow this link to learn more about this now accepted method



Recently distributed charts showing the 1996  - 2007 time frame for Reportable Boating Incidents and Fatalities.

The following are videos of interest. If you find one that would be appropriate to share with the Squadron, please send the address or file to


Kitchen Oil Fire example

Click below for a presentation regarding Heart Attacks.  While the presentation uses an example of driving
home from work, this could just as easily happen if you are out in your boat.

'Fair Winds and Following Seas'