KSAT's David Sears conquers San Antonio River

David learns to pilot river barge

SAN ANTONIO - When tourists and locals hop on one of the river barges that traverses the mighty San Antonio River, they are comforted in the fact that the pilot is a well-trained and experienced barge driver.

It takes many hours over several weeks of training before a barge driver is allowed to cruise the river carrying passengers. 

The key is knowing the throttle and the steering wheel and that the boat drives from the back.

There are a few narrow passages and crowded areas and low-hanging footbridges that need to be learned.

After the training is done, the job -- and is a job -- becomes one of those dream jobs.

“Being out on the river, it’s just wonderful,” said Jim Reid, who has been an instructor for 16 years. "(And) meeting people. You’ve got to like people or you can’t work in this kind of a job.”

For a list of recent stories David Sears has done, click here.

A slideshow is embedded here.


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