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City Reminds Boaters To Stay Vigilant During San Rafael Canal Dredging

While boating is a fun and pleasurable activity, boaters in the San Rafael Canal are reminded to exercise caution when passing the dredging project in the channel.

Posted on December 12, 2022

The city of San Rafael would like to remind boaters to stay vigilant as dredging continues in the San Rafael Canal.

“Boaters must exercise caution when passing the dredge in the channel,” the city of San Rafael said in a news release.

According to the city, the Dredge DB‐Beaver is available on Channel 80 and slacks its anchor wires for vessel traffic in and out of the channel.

“The anchor wires sit on the bottom of the channel,” the city explained. “At low tide levels, in shallow portions of the channel, sailboats with deep keels must exercise extra caution. A keel that will penetrate the mudline will not clear an Anchor Wire on the bottom.”

According to the city, boaters should watch out for:

  • Sand bars that the dredge is working on
  • Cables as the dredge swings its cutter head from side to side.
  • Submerged pipe
  • Backhoes that are rotating on pontoons

Boaters should try to avoid the area but for those who cannot, they should proceed slowing around dredges, especially when coming from the behind the dredge. Other safety precautions issued by the city include:

  • Leave plenty of room between yourself and the dredge.
  • Stay as far from them as you can.
  • Remember: they have equipment that swings from side to side. It’s guided by cables that you may not see until it’s too late.
  • Make eye contact with the dredge’s operators. They’re focused on their work and not looking for you.
  • Don’t create a wake that will rock their boats, barges, pontoons or pipelines.
  • Don’t expect them to get out of your way; they can’t maneuver like you.

The dredging project, being completed by The Dutra Group, is expected to last through December.


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