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Marine safety enforcement stepped up near TZ Bridge

PIERMONT – As more construction barges arrive daily to continue the work of building a new Tappan Zee Bridge, Rockland County officials on Friday announced an enhanced Hudson River safety program.

For the first time ever, the sheriff’s marine unit is patrolling the Hudson with three vessels – two operating from a marina in Stony Point and one dispatched from a dock underneath the TZ Bridge.

County Executive Edwin Day said they want to ensure safety on the waterway, in light of increased boater traffic during the summer.

“We are partnering up with our sheriff’s marine unit, our Coast Guard, the bridge project developers, to ensure that we have a safe area of passage in and around the Tappan Zee Bridge,” Day said. “It is important before the perception begins that there is an issue with safety, we want to make sure we are ahead of that because at stake here is not just the safety of people who are using the waters, but also our businesses, who occupy the shoreline and bring out economy up to speed in Rockland County.”

Sheriff Louis Falco said mariners are reminded that designating a sober vessel operator “is always the safest bet if alcohol is included in their outing.” He warned that his marine units “will be watching.”

The heightened efforts for Hudson River safety around the bridge construction stem from a tragic boating accident in which a pleasure craft struck a construction barge killing two people onboard.