New Jersey senator wants yacht free zone around Statue of Liberty
TRENTON, New Jersey (LOG News Service) — Are you wealthy enough to own a mega-yacht but too cheap to pay for parking? Just drop anchor next to the Statue of Liberty and soak up the million-dollar views for free.
That was the tact of Russian-American oil tycoon Eugene Shvidler, who reportedly anchored his 370-foot vessel, Le Grand Bleu, next to Lady Liberty for weeks at a time between April and June.
No sooner did he leave Liberty Bay then Swiss-Italian scion Ernesto Bertarelli parked his 318-foot Vava II in the same waters, followed by German billionaire Reinhold Würth in his relatively modest, 280-foot Vibrant Curiosity earlier in August, according to reports.
But The Record reported the rich-guy antics have obstructed views of the iconic monument and left tourists fuming. Now, a New Jersey state senator wants to clear the bay of parked mega-yachts for good.
“When Emma Lazarus wrote about America welcoming ‘your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,’ it was not an invitation to billionaire oil tycoons to use the waters surrounding the Statue of Liberty as a parking lot for their yachts,” New Jersey Sen. Richard Codey, D-Essex, said in a statement on August 25. “It is unsafe for navigation, unfair to others and completely antithetical to the spirit of one of the world’s most compelling symbols of freedom and equal opportunity.”
Codey said he would introduce a resolution at the next Senate session, likely this fall, calling on the U.S. Coast Guard to ban the long-term anchorage of boats near Liberty Island.
The purpose, according to a draft of the resolution, is to “maintain the public’s ability to enjoy views of the monument and park and to protect against security risks.”
2 thoughts on “New Jersey senator wants yacht free zone around Statue of Liberty”
Free Anchorages are for everyone! On every nautical chart of every harbor you will find designated anchorages. As long as the vessel occupying the space is exhibiting the required Day Shapes and or Lights at night, providing anchorages is good business for Ports. A vessel at anchor may utilize many shore-based services while at anchor. That may include Water Taxis, Chandlers, and Ship Services of every kind. The United States economy is still based upon shipping. Though not everyone wants to acknowledge that. Chris Christie is exhibiting his usual boorish behavior by wanting to ignore one of the proudest traditions of seafaring, Hospitality. If a a flotilla of Vietnamese-owned Fishing boats, or the most wretched scows still afloat were to occupy the same anchorage as the Oligarch would he still be blowing his usual safety-valve? Probably even more so. Governor Christie is a mite shy of the social graces. But we should not allow his prejudices to inconvenience anyone who stops off for repairs, stores, or even shore leave. Besides, Chris, it will provide tax money for Jersey. I cannot imagine the Tourist draw of fairy tale stories such as Boardwalk Empire or The Sopranos having the kind of staying power that Commercial Shipping or Recreational Boating has had over our nation’s lifetime. Lighten up, Chris!
While I agree that the right of passage, and safe haven should be preserved for all. I sincerely hope that these billionaires take this to court should any restriction pass. Let them spend their money defending their right to anchor.
I hope it makes it’s way all the way up to the SCOTUS. Then maybe states, and municipalities such as in Florida will get the message. Not enough anchorage’s, not enough moorings, too many restrictions. The common man, and women who love to sail generally don’t have the resources to maintain the constant battle..they do.