Magazine article The Washington Monthly

Just to Be Safe, Brush Up on Your Side Stroke

Magazine article The Washington Monthly

Just to Be Safe, Brush Up on Your Side Stroke

Article excerpt

You can learn something about government by studying the Coast Guard's role in response to Katrina and in the sinking of the Ethan Allen on Lake George. Its performance in rescuing Katrina survivors was superb. Its safety standards for the vessels it regulates are considerably less impressive.

In determining if a boat is overloaded, an average weight of 140 pounds is used for each passenger. This standard was applied by the state of New York to the Ethan Allen with tragic results. Its passengers were all adults, many of whom, in this age of obesity can be assumed to weigh much more than 140 pounds.

Years ago, I wrote about another vessel regulated by the Coast Guard, a ferry that crosses the wide mouth of the Delaware Bay, noting that it had a sign reading, "Life Boats this way," that pointed its 700 passengers to two boats with a capacity of 25 persons each. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.