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The U.S. Coast Guard Wednesday inaugurated a $5.6 million radar-and-television system for monitoring ship traffic in New York harbor.

The Vessel Traffic Service uses remote television cameras and state-of-the-art radar to monitor shipping, much as air traffic controllers keep track of planes in crowded airspace, to lessen the danger of collisions and other mishaps. It actually is an upgraded version of one closed two years ago for budgetary reasons.

When fully operational, probably in two to three years, it will cover the entire New York harbor from the Verrazano Narrows to Execution Rocks in Long Island Sound. Jim McGranachan, a Coast Guard spokesman, said the completed system will have remote TV cameras in operation at eight to 10 locations and radar sweeping the waters from several others.

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