The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Who Has The Right of Way in NYC's Waterways? City's Boating Rules Explained

By Shaye Weaver | August 31, 2016 6:50pm
 Kayaking off of Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Kayaking off of Brooklyn Bridge Park.
View Full Caption
Alexa Hoyer

NEW YORK CITY — Boating in New York City's waterways can be exhilarating, but it can also be dangerous.

A NY Waterway Ferry plowed into a group of 11 kayakers in the Hudson River on Tuesday evening, injuring five kayakers, two of them critically, according to authorities.

A glare blinded the ferry captain as he was pulling out of Pier 79 near 12th Avenue and 39th Street, causing the boat to collide with the kayakers just before 6 p.m., according to police.

No one has yet been charged over the incident. 

So what are the "rules of the road" when out in the water? Here's what you need to know about boating safely, and lawfully, in New York City:

Who has the right of way?

The U.S. Coast Guard has rules in place dictating how boats are to share the city's waterways.

When two boats are on a collision course in a crossing situation, the vessel that has the other boat on its starboard side, the right side, must yield to the boat on the right.

When two boats are coming at each other head-on, each should turn to the right.

Also boats without mechanized power have the right of way, but smaller boats must yield to larger vessels that cannot maneuver as easily, such as sludge carrying ships, oil tankers, barges, and any large commercial boat.

Kayaks and Canoes have rules, too

There are designated launch sites for kayaks and canoes, according to the City's Department of Parks and Recreation.

There are 53 such points across the five boroughs, open from April 1 to Dec. 1. They can be viewed on this map.

Kayaks and canoes cannot be launched before sunrise or complete a trip after sunset, the Parks Department states.

As is true of any water vessel, if a boat is traveling down a narrow channel, it must keep to the outer limits of the channel and designate someone to be a lookout for other vessels, according to the U.S. Coast Guard rules.

 Steer clear of ferry and commercial docks

The City Parks Department's Marina Division advises that boaters stay away from docks and marinas to avoid any issues with other vessels.

A list of ferries and marinas can be found on the state's Department of Transportation website.

Port Authority also has a map showing routes for NY Waterway, Liberty Park Water Taxi, Staten Island Ferry, New York Water Taxi and the SeaStreak Commuter Ferry.

Some commercial docks can be found on DockNYC.com

Boats are prohibited from coming within 100 yards of naval boats and 25 feet from facilities with security signs, bridge abutments and tunnel ventilators, according to the Parks Department.

► You can get arrested for boating while intoxicated

It's against the law to operate a boat while intoxicated, which is defined by a Blood Alcohol Content of .08 percent or more. Doing so could mean a misdemeanor on your record, and a fine of at least $250 or about a month in jail, according to the New York State Penal Code.

►  There are tons of boating safety resources out there

Many agencies give boating classes online or otherwise, including the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The courses can be found here.

The Coast Guard also has a free boating safety app, which allows you to plan your trip, read about the "rules of the road," check the weather, and report a hazard or emergency.