THE REQUEST FOR THE U.S. COAST GUARD TO CONDUCT A SURVEY OF MARINERS ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF THE RAILROAD DRAWBRIDGES ALONG THE TREASURE COAST HAS BEEN EXTENDED. These responses have boomed due to events such as the repair of a railroad bridge on the St. Lucie River which left dozens of mariners unable to navigate for three hours Thursday afternoon.
Worse yet, the mariners impacted - such as daytime cruise ship Captain Fred Newhart - were unable to get any reasonable communication with railroad officials about what was going on, and how long the delay would be.
"Some anchored," Newhart said. "Some held station in the current and wind... After more than an hour, the barge turned around... That guy must have lost a lot of money." He also commented that these delays could lead to dangerous situations for mariners themselves, as it can be difficult to handle the "current and wind while the bridge is down."
"They obviously don't have the capital to operate and maintain their bridges properly, so how can they handle more trains and longer freight trains," Newhart added. "We have to have more communication with the rail company."
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