2007_11_ambroselight.jpgSomehow, a tanker managed to strike the Ambrose Light navigation aid early Sunday morning. The Ambrose Light is a 76-foot structure that sits 12 miles southeast of Staten Island and, according to the Coast Guard, "watches over the main shipping lanes to New York Harbor."

The 799-foot tanker Axel Spirit "slammed" into the light, which is usually visible for 18 miles. Now the light is not rotating and, therefore, is not reliable. A commercial pilot first reported the damage at 3:15AM on Sunday, and at 8:50AM, the Axel Spirit's shipping agent reported the incident to the Coast Guard. The Axel Spirit was on its way to a Chevron facility in Perth Amboy, NJ. The winds were at 20-25 knots during the time of the accident - possibly from Tropical Storm Noel.

While there are other navigation aids, the Coast Guard says, "Please stay clear of that area, if possible, for their own safety and the safety of others on the water."

In the summer, an oil tanker ran aground in the Ambrose Channel; none of the oil leaked. And in May, drivers on the BQE and Verrazano Narrows noticed a ship that was sinking on purpose (it was a semi-submersible).