Posted by Claiborne | Posted on 01-30-2012
The Moore Haven Railway Bridge crosses the Okeechobee Waterway, a short hop west of the Moore Haven Lock. It has a bare, closed vertical clearance of only 5 feet, so it it closes on you unexpectedly, that could be a REAL problem, as Captain James learned to his misfortune!!!
Be aware that this bridge can close without any signal. On Jan 27 at 3 PM we were traveling E to the Moore Haven lock after calling for a lock through with the lock master stating the lock was open to us and we could proceed. The railroad bridge was open. As we approached the bridge it appeared to be stuck in a partially closed position. We proceeded but too late to realize that it was indeed closing and we were impaled causing severe damage to the forward sections of the boat. At no time was there any signal, warning or individual present. Retreating to the City Docks witnesses confirmed that no signal was heard although they had heard it clearly on other occasions. I later discovered that the bridge has no radio contact or communication with the adjacent lock. I have had previous experience with this bridge waiting one and half hours for the bridge to open in a swift current and no communication. They seem to operate without regard to water traffic as opposed to the locks. I will update you as to
any legal actions.
Tom James, Captain
“Tortuga” Krogen 42