Follow-up to a Matter of Channel Safety

by on January 3, 2012 · 7 comments

in Environment, San Diego

NTC Channel bridge showing earlier installed signs with speed limits of 5mph.

Well y’all might remember when I wrote about the safety issue in the NTC Channel back in late October. Scott MacLaggen has been checking with Harbor Police Chief Bolduc monthly on the status of the Navy’s fix to the channel… but nothing other than promises from the Navy. That is, until two days ago – just before New Year’s.

Scott forwarded me an e-mail in which Chief Bolduc let him know the Navy had installed nine new 5 MPH buoys the length of the channel, with a verbal promise to enlarge the 5 MPH sign at the entrance of the channel. And just like that, change for the better occurred.

Color me jaded, but before I wrote about this event I had to see for myself. So, I took my canine wards for a walk one recent evening along the channel. The wind had died down and the channel was a grey mirror of polished pewter as the sun set in the West over the ridge of Point Loma.

In the gathering purples and greys of twilight, there they were: nine bright and shiny new 5 MPH buoys set out at intervals and running the length of the channel. The only boat in the channel was a Harbor Police boat. It came down the channel engaging in a slow-motion slalom between the new buoys, circling the last one before heading back out to the bay. I would like to think it was a sort of peaceful victory lap.

The ego in me would like to believe the article in the OB Rag was the impetus for finally getting a job done. I know, however, it was the tenacity of two people, Scott MacLaggen and Chief Bolduc, who made this happen. One a citizen with a reasonable request, the other a representative of the government who recognized a problem for the public and with true concern did something about it; quickly, effectively and without any fanfare. Which leads me to just one more question.

Chief Bolduc, have you ever thought about running for Mayor?

Those are my thoughts, and I welcome yours.

Peace, Jack



{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

La Playa Heritage January 3, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Great news.


JEC January 4, 2012 at 10:58 am

A string of bouys all the way to the Marina? Navy must have a poor opinion of the Marines at the MCRD Marina. I mean, for the rest of us the Port puts down a couple of bouys, draws a line in the water and that’s it – we’re suppose to get it. Appears the Navy feels Marines must be reminder every 200 feet. My question – why didn’t Corky and the City consider this channel when designing and building Liberty Station?


John Decker January 5, 2012 at 8:13 am

Happy Jack … Very nice … Good job … Scott, and the Chief …
And who ever JEC is you clearly don’t know what your writing about, no problem with the marines, the problem in the channel was with all the idiot wake boarders, Water ski’s … who would come to the channel for the glass … coming very close to running over anyone in a canoe, stand up paddle board, peddle boat, Out Rigger … The all about me generation … The Channel will be a much safer place for everyone now … Good Job …
Johnny D …….


JEC January 5, 2012 at 11:14 am

Pardon me – I was being facetious – about the bouys. Humor on the net is tough. Actually I am very familiar with the area. But my question is valid – the channel hangs in jurisdictional limbo; it’s access to the MCRD Marina; it’s the front porch of the Liberty Station Park. I think you pointed out the many users – mostly since the construction of Liberty Station. I think you’ll agree the kayakers, SUP’s and the junior lifeguards that swim there are not the problem. What if Corky had built beaches, kayak launching areas, swimming areas in place of the chunks of concrete? Happy new year.


bodysurferbob January 5, 2012 at 12:40 pm

thank you jack and jec for staying on top of this issue. we who live in or on the water need to be safe and its nice to know that there’s individuals out there like you who are literally keeping watch.


s maclaggan January 5, 2012 at 10:30 am

It is not the Marines who were the problem or the issue. They are in general very good citizens and neighbors. It is the outsiders -wake boarders from Spring Valley or where ever who only see ideal conditions and disregard the safety of others and the law. There is a “line drawn” and it is way out by the H.I. Fuel Dock. Unfortunately it has been largely ignored, thus the additional “reminder” bouys. If they save the life of only one child in a kayak, it will be time and money well spent. The Channel has not been turned over to the City yet due to ongoing pollution clean up issues. sm


Jack January 5, 2012 at 1:52 pm

This was a group effort to get something done which needed to be done…so really, cudos all around.

But JEC, to address your intial question, please read the intial article from 10/31 in which I address the limbo state of the channel. When you read and if you are like me, you will simply wonder “wtf?” and why something as simple of this could not have been remedied more simply.

Peace, Jack


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