Category Archives: Blog

America’s Got Talent

“A James Bond style boat chase in New York Harbor” is what an America’s Got Talent producer wanted to film as a way to introduce one of their contestants. Damone Rippy from Texas was to compete with his flyboard in front of judges Heidi Klum, Mel B, Howard Stern, and Howie Mandel.

We set up three boats for the TV show — A ‘good guy’ boat for Damone and a bunch of bikini-clad girls, a ‘bad guy’ boat for the villain chasing them, and a camera boat for the crew.

The three-hour shoot was edited into a 10-second high-action intro.


Check out Captain Ken ducking out of the shot while operating the throttle.


Damone and the girls rehearsing scenes at the dock:


The director of photography and the cameraman framing a shot.


Harbor School drills Man Over Board

Students of the New York Harbor School performed MOB, Fire, and Abandon-Ship drills as part of their Safety at Sea class. The USCG Aids to Navigation Team joint in the evolutions and practiced medical evacuations between vessels. Handheld flares and floating smoke signals were deployed in the ‘Bayridge Flats’, as part of the exercise.










Trans-atlantic row: Ocean Valour 2015


The crowd cheered as Tom Rainey and Lawrence Walter walked  down the ramp and onto the dock at North Cove Marina in downtown Manhattan. They started their 3,800 mile row across the North Atlantic  at 10:30 ET this morning (May 3rd), course set for the United Kingdom. They are attempting to break the 119 year old record set by Norwegians in 1896 who completed the journey in 55 days and 13 hours.

Rainey is rowing in honor of his father who died from a brain tumor. He wants to raise awareness and $370,000 for the Brain Tumor Charity and the Brain Tumor Society.

His mother blessed their 23-foot custom row boat ‘Yves’ by pouring a bottle of champagne over the bow.


Sixty crews have attempted this route since, yet only twenty-three have reached the shores on the other side of the Atlantic.
You can follow their progress at

New York Media Boat escorted the team from Battery Park to The Narrows and we wish them a safe passage and great adventure!



Bomb Threat at Statue of Liberty

Visitors were evacuated shortly after 11am due to security concerns on Liberty Island. Statue Cruises sent their ships to move people off the island, as NYPD and U.S. Coast Guard vessels arrived and established a 1000-foot security zone around the island. The FDNY and other local fire departments staged their boats as well and the NYPD Bomb Squad was ferried to the Statue to investigate.

According to the National Park Service, a 911 caller had threatened to blow up the statue and K9 units detected an area of interest by the lockers said NYPD. A sweep of the island turned up negative and visitors will be able to return to the island on Saturday. The last time Liberty Island was closed to the public was after Hurricane Sandy caused major damage.

USCG establishing a 1000 foot security zone

USCG establishes a 1000 foot security zone around the Statue of Liberty

NYPD Bomb Squad staged at North Cove Marina

NYPD Bomb Squad staged at North Cove Marina

NYPD arrives to investigate

NYPD arrives to investigate

NYPD helicopter circling the Statue of Liberty

NYPD helicopter circling the Statue of Liberty

Fireboats stationed outside security zone

Fireboats stationed outside security zone – FDNY, JCFD


USCG securing Liberty Island


Swain swims Gowanus

Environmental activist Christoper Swain raised some major awareness this Earth Day by swimming in the toxic waters of the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. He calls for an accelerated cleanup of the waterway, currently labeled a superfund site. Hundreds of people came out to see this stunt and anxiously awaited Swain, who is thought to be the first person in history to swim the entire length of the canal. Despite health officials’ recommendations and EPA advisories against coming into contact with the canal water, Swain donned his high-visibility drysuit, boots, gloves, and goggles and jumped in. The NYPD SCUBA Team was on standby, escorting him as he swam down the canal, under bridges lined with camera crews, photographers, and supporters cheering him on. He planned to swim the entire length of the canal, but approaching thunderstorms forced him to climb out early. He still made it some 8,000 feet and gave a press conference, dripping wet, in a Whole Foods parking lot.




Surveying the Five Gyres

Swirls of microplastics are undulating through five major ocean gyres — and the ‘Race For Water‘ plans to sail its MOD70 through each one of these.

These aren’t huge islands of trash. You don’t see bottles, fishing nets, and six-pack rings all bunched up and going for a ride around the Pacific. There’s not a big patch that turns up on satellite images, and you’re not likely to run into a lone mound of discarded tupperware on your Atlantic crossing, according to NOAA.

But there certainly are clumps of microplastics — tiny particles that are the breakdown product, through UV light and other environmental processes, of larger plastics — that get caught up in the inner circle of major ocean currents.

“Regardless of the exact size, mass, and location of these areas of concentration, man-made litter and debris do not belong in our oceans or waterways,” according to NOAA.

Race for Water says it will attempt to survey the island beaches caught up in the middle of these bands of pollution. These islands include Bermuda, Easter Island, Hawaii, and Tristan de Cunha — along with other remote islands that aren’t caught up in the trash-laden currents.

Drones are the main means of data collection. The images of island beaches they yield will be handed over to researchers at Duke University and Oregon State University for analysis.

There should also be plenty of observational data, too, as the six-member crew — all of them sailors, not scientists — will sail the 70-foot trimaran through the five major gyres on a year-long journey from Bordeaux and back.

Here are some photos of their New York stopover. The vessel is currently docked at Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City.

Brooklyn Blaze

The FDNY battled the 7-Alarm warehouse fire in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn from land and water. Engines and ladder trucks made little progress with their 1,000-gallons-per-minute nozzles…


… as strong west winds gusting over 30 knots kept fueling the inferno.

FDNY Marine Units responded to survey and attack from the East River.

The 65-foot fireboat ‘Bravest’ and the 140-foot ‘Fire Fighter II’ were stationed in the river upwind of the fire.

‘Fire Fighter II’ pumps 18,000 gallons-per-minute from her bow monitor, blasting the west-side of the building…

…successfully knocking down the exterior wall and fire behind it.

The warehouse is said to contain paper records from courts and hospitals, stacked in boxes from floor to ceiling. Twitter posts tagged #williamsburgfire showed embers being picked up as far as 2.5 miles downwind.
As firefighters keep dousing the building, the structure is expected to smolder for at least another couple of days.

New York Media Boat was on-scene for most of the day capturing images and video of the blaze.


As Manhattan braces for the blizzard, we  head for the beach just south of the Statue of Liberty. Dressed in dry-suits and equipped with cameras and kites, we aimed to get some photos before it got dark. Unfortunately the wind hadn’t picked up just yet so Dariusz was a bit underpowered on the 10-meter Nobile kite. A cold but fun session!






Harbor School adds Simulator

On Wednesday the New York Harbor School christened its new Bridge Simulator at the MAST Center on Governors Island.

Students now have the opportunity to hone their ship handling and navigation skills in the same high-tech virtual environment used by many professionals. The main TRANSAS bridge simulator system is set up in a separate room where five large flat-screen monitors line the walls providing a 160-degree view of the scenario. Four additional smaller stations are set up in an adjacent room, also complete with navigation charts, engine and rudder controls, and radar screens. All five stations are networked allowing, for example, a tanker, tugs and law enforcement vessels to simultaneously function within the same scenario.

Of course I had to try this out first-hand and selected a Coast Guard small boat, as it has similar handling parameters as the boats we operate here at New York Media Boat. Running north at 30 knots from Saint George towards lower Manhattan, the harbor looked strikingly familiar. The buoys, barges and skyline all appeared in perfect detail. I threw some hard turns for good measure and the boat reacted as expected. At times I forgot that I was standing on solid ground and even started feeling a bit nauseous, as we dialed the conditions up and encountered heavy seas heading for Buttermilk Channel.

What an excellent teaching tool to add to the already impressive curriculum Captain Aaron Singh and his team have put together for their students.

The $300,000 system was donated by the American Bureau of Shipping.


Captain Mark Phillips at the helm of the NY Harbor School Bridge Simulator

Quantum of the Seas

At 11 times the size of a full-grown blue whale, Royal Caribbean’s ‘Quantum of the Seas‘ sailed into New York Harbor for the first time this morning, completing her maiden trans-Atlantic voyage.

Once past the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, the ‘North Star‘ glass capsule was raised on her top deck, providing passengers with a 360-degree view extending to the same height as the torch of the Statue of Liberty.

Complete with robotic bartenders, bumper cars, a FlowRider surf and RipCord iFly skydiving simulator, she also features 375 interior staterooms with virtual balconies, projecting real-time views of the ocean. Wifi and RFID luggage tags allow guests to track their bags right from a smartphone.

At 1,141 feet long, ‘Quantum of the Seas’ is now the largest cruise-ship on the Hudson River, a status previously held by Norwegian Cruise Line’s 1,068-foot ‘Norwegian Breakaway‘.

Her homeport is the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, New Jersey and she’ll be christened there later this week.