Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 01-04-2011
Captain Ehlen does not name the bridges he describes, but we assume he was at East Sunrise Boulevard Bridge which is a twin span bascule bridge north of Ft. Lauderdale. The closed vertical clearance of the bascule spans is 25 feet.
One of the draw bridges north of Ft. Lauderdale had two sailboats waiting when we arrived for the opening. Four spans rose, and as the northbound sailboat started to go through one of the spans began to close. I radioed the bridge tender. I’m guessing the high winds had something to do with the problem, but in the meantime all three boats started a mad scramble in the wind and current to get out of the way. Once the spans were up and stationary, Shady Lady went through first. As the two sailboats were going through the spans started waving again, but we all made it safely.
Captain Wade Ehlen