Coast Guard crews begin assessment and response from storm damage caused by Hurricane Sandy

Northeast Atlantic Coast Guard NewsNEW HAVEN, Conn., – The Captain of the Port for Connecticut and Long Island Sound will begin easing restrictions on the waterways that are vital to the maritime commerce of the United States, Tuesday.

“We are continuing to work closely with our partner agencies to assess damage to our ports and waterways,” said Capt. Joseph Vojvodich, commander of Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound. “Boaters are reminded to stay off the water until the waterways are reopened. If you have a recreational boat or watercraft that has come free from its mooring, please report it to the Coast Guard immediately. This can save valuable search and rescue resources from unnecessarily looking for a missing person.”

The Ports of Connecticut and Long Island Sound have a Maritime Transportation System Recovery Unit in place that coordinates the reopening and survey of local waterways and facilities. Once bad weather subsides, Coast Guard crews in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers, local harbor pilots and state and local authorities will begin inspecting shore-side facilities for damage. They will also begin to check positions on every buoy in the port to ensure vessels can safely navigate the correct shipping channels. Crews will also identify areas where shoaling has occurred due to moving sand disturbed by the passing storm.

As facilities are inspected, channel markers checked and the condition of the waterway’s bottom verified; the local Captain of the Port can begin to ease restrictions on waterways where commerce moves. The Captain of the Port works with industry and local partners to prioritize ship movement to ensure normal commerce resumes.

Coast Guard response capabilities to urgent search and rescue remain restricted until a survey of the waterways is conducted.

The remnants of Hurricane Sandy continue to pose a danger and waterborne leisure activities should be delayed for the next few days.

Stay clear of beaches. Wave heights and currents remain a danger. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by hurricanes. Swimmers should stay clear of beaches until local lifeguards and law enforcement officials say the water is safe.

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