Coast Guard establishes regulated navigation area, safety zone for the Florida Keys

Sail boats and personal craft litter the shoreline near Naval Air Station Key West, Florida, Sept. 15, 2017. Clean up efforts are in full swing across the Florida Keys after Hurricane Irma caused extensive damage across the state. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Dustin R. Williams.

Sail boats and personal craft litter the shoreline near Naval Air Station Key West, Florida, Sept. 15, 2017.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Dustin R. Williams.

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Coast Guard has established a temporary regulated navigation area and temporary safety zone for waters within the Coast Guard Sector Key West Captain of the Port zone, Saturday.

  • Vessels within the regulated navigation area within one nautical mile of land in the Florida Keys must operate at a slow speed.
  • Vessels are prohibited from entering into, anchoring, loitering, or movement within a safety zone of 25 yards around law enforcement vessels, salvage vessels, or visible wreckage in the Florida Keys. These temporary regulations are necessary for the safety of persons, vessels, and property due to the large volume of debris, sunken vessels, and salvage operations associated with Hurricane Irma.
  • Slow speed means the speed at which a vessel proceeds when it is fully off plane, completely settled in the water, and not creating excessive wake. Due to different speeds at which vessels of different sizes and configurations may travel while in compliance with this definition, no specific speed is assigned to slow speed. A vessel is not proceeding at a slow speed if it is: (a) on a plane; (b) in the process of coming on or coming off a plane; or (c) creating an excessive wake.
  • This emergency rule is effective and will be enforced from 5 p.m. on Sept. 16, 2017 through 8 a.m. on Oct. 1, 2017.
  • ll marine interests must take action to ensure safety of the port and vessels.

“Coast Guard personnel have been working alongside the U.S Navy, NOAA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA personnel and using specialized equipment to assess and scan the Port of Key West in order to mark and identify all potential hazards to navigation,” said Capt. Jeffrey Janszen, captain of the port and commander, Coast Guard Sector Key West. “Our goal is to fully open the Port of Key West for all navigational needs as soon as possible, but we first have an obligation to ensure safety of the port and vessels in order to protect all marine and maritime interests.”

Mariners can view the latest port updates on the Coast Guard Sector Key West’s Homeport site.

For imagery and video of the Hurricane Irma response, please visit our Flicker page.

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