To Go or Not to Go, That is the Question: Navigating Hazardous Waters

The Washington and Oregon Coasts are home to a unique marine operating environment--the river bar. At these bars, thousands of gallons of river water per minute flow into the Pacific Ocean, causing an extremely dynamic, dramatic, and, on occasion, dangerous environment. The forces that collide at the mouths of these rivers in the Northwest at times cause conditions where waves break across the entire mouth of a harbor entrance, and the only way to get out/in is to cross through a breaking wave. Aware of the uniqueness of this operating environment, the U.S. Coast Guard has provided specialized training to its coxwains in boat-handling skills since 1980 for these conditions, when the National Motor Lifeboat School at Cape Disappointment was opened. This article discusses its go/no go marine philosophy for recreational and uninspected passenger vessels under rough seas, the formulation of a written policy and a proactive approach to river bars and other rough conditions, and the risk assessment and decisionmaking criteria that have gone into these policies.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Ferrie, Kevin
    • Seifert, Niles
  • Publication Date: 2007


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: pp 14-17
  • Serial:
    • Proceedings
    • Volume: 64
    • Issue Number: 1
    • ISSN: 1547-9676

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01049832
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 14 2007 4:00PM