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Boater Strikes Span Under Moses Wheeler Bridge

Police said the man told them he was unfamiliar with the area and got caught in the current.

A boater traveling on the Housatonic River Sunday got stuck under the when the vessel was swept away by a fast-moving current, the boater told .

The incident was the fourth call of distress Stratford police and fire marine units responded to over the weekend. Another call Sunday involved . And two calls on Saturday had the .

The boat stuck under the bridge that carries traffic on I-95 sustained no structural or mechanical damage, police said. Officials towed the vessel to nearby Boardwalk Marina.

Police said the boat's operator was visibly shaken and upset but not injured, and told them he was unfamiliar with the area and got caught in a fast-moving current.

Stan Hands August 22, 2012 at 12:36 AM
I am so glad that the PD and FD have one marine unit each. The Housatonic River is one of the most dangerous in the country and we need all of the help we can get for people in need of help. It would be nice if our waters were patrolled by PD and FD like most of the other, less dangerous, waterways in our state are. Serious consideration needs to be given to funding the units that patrol our waterways. There are millions of dollars of boats in our marinas and they need better protection . Our taxes are too high to not have better services on our waterways!
Donna Rae Henault Caporaso August 22, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I don't believe its the responsibility of tax payers to protect the "millions of dollars of boats in our <private> marinas". I'm not sure what "protection" you feel they need but it would be up to the private marinas and boat owners to project their private property.
Marty August 22, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Stan, Seriously? Are you a boater? Do you live on the river? Well I am and I do to both those questions. The Stratford PD does patrol the river, The Milford PD patrols the river and the state of CT DEEP patrols the river. I watch them almost daily go up and down the river. The Housatonic is not dangerous in itself, it is the lack of boating knowledge & common sense that gets boaters into trouble out on the water and as far as the river being the most dangerous in the country where did you get that tid bit of information from. Just wondering.
Chris Stevens August 23, 2012 at 12:26 AM
The Stratford Police patrol both the river and sound daily, the patch did a nice article recently.....as far as tax payers I believe the PD received their boat from a Homeland Security grant that was obtained under Miron and Cheif Buturla, the maintance is also covered under the grant.....sounds like a win win situation for the town and all boaters out there!
Stan Hands August 25, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Donna everyone in Town has private property that they expect the taxpayers to pay for protection for. How is that any different than the boat owners? Marty you are correct there are many law enforcement units that patrol the river but that has nothing to do with rescue protection and fire protection for that matter. The law enforcement units do a great job patrolling the river doing their best to limit crime and unsafe acts from occurring. Most of the law enforcement boats that patrol the river, with the exception of the Coast Guard, only have two people on board and do not provide adequate personnel for rescue situations and none of them offer any fire protection. No where in my comment did I say that the Housatonic River is "the most dangerous river in the country" as you stated in your reply. What I stated is that it is one of the most dangerous. The fact is that the current, tide and amount of water that flow from the river all make the river a very dangerous place for boaters and anyone enjoying the water for recreation purposes. Speak with any of the local agencies that patrol the river or the US Coast Guard and you will see just how dangerous they all believe it to be. If you truly are a boater on this river this is something that you should be well aware of. The PD and FD marine units do a good job. They simply need our continued support to make sure they can keep all of us safe.
Stan Hands August 25, 2012 at 02:51 AM
I thought that the Stratford PD was only patrolling the waters during limited hours this year that were nowhere near daily. Nothing in the Patch article about the Police boat says when they patrol the waters it only says it is available 24/7 for emergencies. The last I heard it was only on weekends and they do their best to man the boat for emergencies when they are not patrolling. It is a shame that the funding was cut so they do not have 7 day a week patrols on the river. There is obviously enough boat traffic to support their marine unit operating 7 days a week but sadly it does not.
Marty August 25, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Stan, I was born in Stratford and have been a life long resident. I'm 50 years old now and have been living on the river in the same house the last 20 years. I'm very familiar with the river currents, tides as well as the sand bars and vessel traffic.I am a boater and have been a very long time. The most dangerous thing about the river are the people who use it. I watch the boats & jet ski's daily from my deck and front windows and i can tell you there are plenty of people out on the water that have no clue as to what they are doing. There are packs of jet ski's that chase the boats so they can jump their wake sometimes within feet of the boats stern, This is extremely dangerous and illegal. Boat's that are over crowded, Boats that speed at night with no spot light on I'm surprised no one has hit the buoy yet that's out in front of my house and the list goes on. No amount of patrolling will keep everyone safe all the time there are simply too many knuckle heads on the water. As far as ONE of the most dangerous, Every waterway is dangerous, Your on the water, plain and simple.The only way to really make the river safe is to get the idiots off the water. The river is dangerous if you put yourself in a situation that you shouldn't be in. Common sense and communication to shore are key to having a safe day out on the water.
Stan Hands August 26, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Marty I agree with you that people and their actions are the largest contributing factor to making the river dangerous. There is no way to remove the people from the river. The only way to guarantee safety is to support PD marine units for law enforcement and FD marine units for rescue. You will never remove the people or their stupidity.

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