Toms Tips About Bridges Operating Improperly

By Tom Neale, 4/1/2010

1. Use your cell phone. If the problem is with a bridge, call the bridge tender’s number if you have it. Most guide books publish these now.

2. If that doesn’t work, call the Coast Guard on the VHF radio or cell phone. Don’t do this if they are working an emergency. They probably will not need the interruption. You can usually tell if there’s an emergency is going on by listening to the VHF on 16 and 22A.

3. is the web site for the entire US Coast Guard Bridge Command. There are “Bridge Officers” who are a part of the Coast Guard command in each area. It is part of their job to know if a bridge isn’t following the Code of Federal Regulations which, among many other things, regulates bridge operations. They’re usually happy to receive your report as to problems and infractions. Call them. Their office numbers can be found at We, have been particularly impressed over the years by the Bridge Officers in Norfolk (Fifth District) and Miami (Seventh District) where we do most of our US cruising.

Fifth District Bridge Branch (Coastal Waters from Shrewsbury River, New Jersey to Little River, South Carolina)

Waverly Gregory, Chief of Bridge Branch
757 398 6222

Seventh District Bridge Branch (Coastal Waters from Little River, South Carolina to Panama City, Florida)

Mr. Barry Dragon, Chief of Bridge Branch
305 415 6743

First District Bridge Administrator (Coastal Waters from Eastport, Maine to Shrewsbury, New Jersey)

Mr. Gary Kassof, Chief of Bridge Branch
212 668 7021

Go to for other information

Boating and water sports involve risk. Any comments herein should be followed at your own risk. You assume all responsibility for risk or injury to yourself or others. Any person or entity that uses this information in any way, as a condition of that use, agrees to waive and does waive and also hold authors harmless from any and all claims which may arise from or be related to that use.

Copyright 2004-2010 Tom Neale