Leadership by Example?

One recent evening I was at a popular overlook near the mouth of a river that empties into Long Island Sound, watching with many others as a Bay Constable boat (unidentified to protect the guilty) attempted to attach a flashing light to the top of a locally maintained red buoy.  The Constable Himself was behind the wheel of the center console, while a summer employee was up in the bow, reaching with one hand for the buoy while desperately hanging on for dear life with the other.   For some reason, our Constable had chosen the absolute peak of the flood tide to accomplish this chore and the current was running at several knots while he tried to hold station with the buoy off his port beam.Well, things didn’t go so well and the Constable eventually edged farther downstream, the buoy sliding aft along his port rail, when suddenly he swung around the buoy to port and the tide and his steering ensuring that he would run over the mooring line for the buoy.  Now his prop is fouled, the buoy has been wrenched tight up against his port quarter.  He is forced to cut the mooring end of the line and limp slowly back upstream to the public launch ramp and unscramble things.Now, we all make mistakes from time-to-time, but this exercise had so many things running against it, including the tide, that it struck me as particularly inappropriate for somebody in a position of (presumed) experience and authority as our local Bay Constable.  Frankly, the mouth of this river is virtually unnavigable; in fact the Coast Guard has refused in the past to mark its entrance, considering it too dangerous to sanction navigation there.  At low tide, its possible to watch any number of boats run aground, or at least grind up impellers and water pumps in lower units as they scrape their way in and out of the waterway.I just expect the Bay Constable to know better.

Copyright © 2007 Thomas M. Tripp





Posted by Tom

Tom Tripp is the owner of OceanLines LLC, the publisher of OceanLines and founder of Marine Science Today. He is an award-winning marine journalist, science writer and long-time public communications specialist. His PR career and much of his writing stems from the fact that he loves to explain stuff. It all began when he and his brother Mark threw all of Mom's tomatoes at the back wall of the house. . .