Coast Guard establishes safety zone near floating power cable

MILWAUKEE – U.S. Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan established a safety zone around an exposed power cable floating in the St. Joseph River near the Main Street Bridge in Michigan after notification from a bridgetender captain Tuesday at approximately 7 p.m.

The five-inch diameter cable lies exposed in a navigable waterway of 14-feet deep, while the remaining length is submerged along roughly the span of the bridge, which is approximately 150 feet.across.

“At this point, our top priority is the safety of the boating public; we’re moving as quickly as possible to remove this hazard so we can reopen the waterway,” said Cmdr. Charles Tenney, Chief of Prevention, Sector Lake Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is on scene, and work is expected to begin Friday to re-bury the cable.

There are no environmental concerns, and the power to the cable has been secured.

The safety zone encompasses one-quarter of a mile around the Main Street Bridge, and both recreational and commercial vessel operators are advised to exercise extreme caution and not transit within 25 yards of the zone.

The Coast Guard is committed to ensuring the safe navigation and facilitation of commerce for the maritime community.

Sector Lake Michigan serves as the operational command for Coast Guard search and rescue, law enforcement, aids to navigation, icebreaking, marine safety and homeland security operations on Lake Michigan. The Sector oversees the operations and administration of 22 units, including 19 Search and Rescue Stations, one Marine Safety Unit, one Marine Safety Detachment and one Sector Field Office.

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