BEACON, NY – On Monday, September 12, 2016 sloop Clearwater experienced an issue with the alternator of the sloop’s engine toward the end of an education sail. There were 37 passengers onboard when the captain discovered that the engine would not start and they would be unable to motor back to the dock on time. As per protocol, the Captain set the anchor and called for assistance from the Westchester Police and Palisades Park Police to assist in ferrying the passengers back to the dock.
This morning, the US Coast Guard inspected the repair and cleared the sloop to sail with passengers. The fall sailing schedule will resume and Clearwater will be sailing with scheduled groups this afternoon.
Captain Aleythea Dolstad stated, “Hudson River Sloop Clearwater has two forms of propulsion; sail and engine. There are many simple reasons why an engine will not start, but troubleshooting an issue takes time. During this process, we anchored the vessel to keep us close to the Yonkers dock and out of the shipping channel. Acknowledging that the passengers had people waiting for them on shore, the authorities were contacted to arrange for the transport of the 37 passengers on board back to shore. This decision was for the comfort of the passengers, as their safety was never in danger.
When the passengers all departed the vessel, Clearwater’s crew was able to work through the troubleshooting tests, quickly determining the problem and installing a spare part that was kept onboard. We were able to motor to the dock and put the boat to bed. Clearwater has an incredibly well trained crew that we trust to carry out their duties in all maritime situations. We look forward to some more fantastic sails on Clearwater this fall.”
Clearwater’s Interim Executive Director, Dave Conover commented, “Our onboard educators and crew did a great job ensuring the safety and comfort of everyone on board during the unfortunate delay. The kids sang songs and played games as they waited to be ferried back to the dock. The boat and the passengers were never in danger, but we apologized to everyone for the inconvenience of not being able to return to the dock on schedule. We thank the Westchester police and Palisades Park police for their response and assistance bringing people back to the dock.”
During the sailing season Clearwater serves the Hudson River with unique education programs where the focus is experiential. Students come aboard and learn about Hudson River ecology, history and navigation.