Wednesday, March 27, 2024

03.27.24 I can't imagine the horror....

      There were some miracles down off the Chesapeake Bay early yesterday morning. But first a feeling of sadness for the six construction workers who died in the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse. Just horrible. Guys working the overnight on a huge bridge. Who in their right mind could ever think it would totally collapse. One guy fall in the water. Yes. Get hit by a passing car. Sure. But this. Unbelievable. 

     But I guess there are also blessings even in tragedy. The time of day. The amount of traffic on the bridge. The quick thinking of the Captain to sound a MAYDAY. The cops and bridge workers who stopped traffic and no doubly saved lives. When you watch the video before impact you can see cars and trucks passing through the spans. And then there's no traffic and the bridge collapses. 

     I am by far anyone in the know of the Chesapeake Bay and striped bass fishing. But this winter I have done a lot of reading and even took the ride to fish parts of it. In my limited understanding I learned the Chesapeake Bay and three of its tributaries are the main spawning grounds for striped bass. You have the Upper Chesapeake Bay, and the Choptank, Potomac, and Nanticoke Rivers. One of the many tributaries that feeds the CB is the Patapsco River, which is what the Francis Scott Key Bridge went over. The river is 39 miles long and drains into, let's just say near the Baltimore Harbor, and then into the Chesapeake Bay. Striped bass do go into the river system but I am not sure how far up. It's a popular boat angling spot especially where the river meets the bay. 

     The amount of ship traffic there is staggering as Baltimore Harbor is one our busiest ports in the United States. This accident is going to have a huge economic impact on the local and countries economy. I can't even imagine how long it will take to remove and rebuild this bridge. The last disaster I

remember where there was a quick turnaround was the 95 Highway fire collapse in Philadelphia last year. That was up and running in a week. This is a little bigger so no doubt it will take a lot longer. 

    We've haven't done well with large cargo ships in the last eight months. In July 2023 two Newark firefighters lost their lives when a 1,000 foot cargo ship caught fire in Port Newark. This too was a near 1,000 footer. When you look at the massive bridge you wonder, in a Monday morning quarterback way, how was there no safety protection in place for the two bridge piers. They have them in place in hundreds of bridges around the country, especially in heavy traveled areas by large ships. It's easy to point fingers now, but it doesn't matter. Hopefully lessons will be learned. And RIP to those lost.