The US Coat Guard has a lot to keep its attention on.
Especially in Vineyard Sound, on an early August day, during the peak of boating season.
Most people on the Sound at this time are actually passengers, riding on the ferries that crisscross these waters. For them, crossing the Sound is a pleasant interlude. For many, it will be one of the few times they will ever be afloat on a boat.
The Coast Guard has to worry about ferry safety, but it also has thousands of other craft on its radar.
The Sound gets crowded on a summer day.
If I were one of the people responsible for the safety of people out here, I don’t think I’d sleep very well.
The following series of photos, taken over a one minute time span, will show why.
Our view shifts slightly to the right in the next picture.
Twenty seconds later, we notice that these two boats are closing in on each other.
Seven seconds more go by.
Does the person driving that big power yacht know what’s to the front and side?
A few seconds of attention or inattention is going to make a lot of difference.
Six seconds more….
Does the fellow in the sport fishing boat even know what’s behind him?
Let’s hope so.
In the final seconds of this near-miss, the power yacht turns and increases distance from the sport fisher. No collision.
Meanwhile, back on the ferry, most people never even noticed what just happened a few hundred yards away from them.
They’re just doing whatever floats their boat.
Whatever that is.