About Us > Our Team > John Lipscomb

John Lipscomb

Patrol Boat Captain, Vice President for Advocacy


John Lipscomb
John Lipscomb became Riverkeeper’s boat captain in 2000. Having grown up in Irvington and Tarrytown, he learned to swim and sail in the Hudson River. Most of Mr. Lipscomb’s career has revolved around boats. In the early 1970’s, he apprenticed for “old time” WWII-era boat builders to learn wooden boat maintenance and repair at Petersen’s Boatyard in Nyack. He has worked in boat building and repair on both wood and fiberglass vessels, and as a rigger. From 1991 to 2000, Mr. Lipscomb was General Manager of Petersen’s. He has sailed as Captain aboard a number of 30’ to 65’ blue water sailing vessels in the Mediterranean, North Atlantic, Caribbean, Pacific and South China Sea. His ocean voyages include three trans-Atlantic crossings and one trans-Pacific crossing from Los Angeles to Singapore. Mr. Lipscomb has also worked as a soundman and co-producer on a number of documentary TV specials. Made for National Geographic, Audubon, Turner and ABC, the films featured subjects such as the polar bears in Hudson Bay, a Yukon River raft expedition, conservationists working to protect lions in the Kalahari Desert, the debate over the harvest of “old growth” forests in the Pacific Northwest, and sail training in the North Atlantic aboard the 250’ square rigged ship “Danmark.”

In September 2000, Mr. Lipscomb began patrolling the Hudson for Riverkeeper aboard the “R. Ian Fletcher”, a 36-foot Chesapeake Bay style wooden vessel. From April into December each year, he travels approximately 4,000 to 5,000 nautical miles between New York Harbor and Troy, searching out and deterring polluters, monitoring tributaries and waterfront facilities, conducting a sampling program to measure fecal contamination and supporting other scientific studies, and taking regional decision makers and media out on the river so that “the river has a chance to advocate for itself.”

Tell Gov. Hochul to block invasive species at the Erie and Champlain canals
Become a Member