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False Alarm: Tappan Zee Bridge Construction Buoy Mistaken for Boat in Distress

Volunteer firefighters go on to Hudson River in response to call from motorist on bridge.

What looked like a sailboat in distress on the Hudson River just north of the Tappan Zee Bridge this morning turned out to be a construction buoy.

Members of the Nyack Fire Department even thought there was an overturned sailboat as they approached the object in the water. However, Deputy Chief Vincent Reid said that as firefighters in the department's marine unit got to the object it became clear it was a buoy.

The approximately 15-foot-long, bright green buoy, Reid said, is used tie up floating construction barges that are part of the ongoing project to replace the aging Tappan Zee Bridge with a new bridge.

The buoy is far enough north of the bridge in the center of the Hudson River that it could be seen from the bridge.

Four volunteer firefighters from the Nyack Fire Department were aboard the fire department boat. The Rockland County Sheriff's Marine Unit was also dispatched from Haverstraw to the incident, but firefighters had identified the buoy shortly after the Sheriff's boat was alerted.

No one was injured in the 9:32 a.m. incident.

Rob May 11, 2013 at 01:53 AM
So much for a pair of Binoculars from the bridge or coms with the Bridge workers!,although it was a beautiful day to be on the Hudson, this alarm should have been over before it started. Total waste of resources.
Concerned Worker May 11, 2013 at 01:32 PM
Rob, this also shows how quickly the fire department responds to such incidents. Had it been a boat in distress, they would have had it taken care of in a timely manner. I thank our firemen and our Sheriff's department Marine Unit for their quick response.
Rob May 12, 2013 at 01:26 AM
Ihear you. lots of respect for the Nyack FD. My statement was not made to slam what they do but was more directed towards how alarms like this can be verified before the guys get on the rigs and launch ther boats, and minimize the potential for an injury to the responding units, plus the costs. I would never knock how any volunteer operates, they do what they do out of the goodness of there hearts.

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