Today we’ll look at the story of a fatal collision last year off Puerto Rico between a USCG ship and a small fishing boat. The situation was tragic for all concerned, and legally the small boat was at fault.

As we navigate our own sometimes crowded waters of the Columbia River, it’s good to remember a basic rule of physics, expressed in maritime circles as the Law of Tonnage, which says, any boat bigger than you will win in an accident. So be careful out there and drive defensively on the water, just like you do on land.