Message on safety mixed

Why are foghorns not needed when lights are?

It’s been roughly eight years since the Coast Guard silenced most of the foghorns on our West coast lighthouses. I seem to recall that this was going to save them $75,000 per year in maintenance costs.

Of course, the main reason they used to justify this move was the increasingly widespread use of GPS devices.

But here’s the part of their logic that I just don’t understand: this same Coast Guard still feels it’s necessary to have all their visual aids to navigation in place to this day, and, presumably, well into the future.

Even with more widespread use of GPS, the Coast Guard maintains its system of day markers, cardinal buoys, lighthouses, etcetera.

So, on the one hand they seem to be saying that regardless of GPS usage, and the amazing capabilities of a properly functioning GPS unit onboard the boat of a knowledgeable user, it is necessary to have these aids to navigation in place.

On the other hand, they appear to be saying that these aids are only necessary when visibility is good.

When visibility drops and the fog rolls over you so fast you think someone stole the bow of your boat, well, then you’re supposed to rely on your GPS and only your GPS.

If you ask me, there’s something ass backwards about this thinking.

Glen Farrough





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