Coast Guard issues safety zone to ensure safety of transit for Arctic drilling and support vessels

SEATTLE — The Captain of the Port for U.S. Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound has issued a 500-yard safety zone, around the Arctic drilling and support vessels, effective June 22, 2012 to Aug. 1, 2012, to ensure (1) the safety of transit of the Arctic drilling and support vessels, (2) the safety of vessels that wish to operate near the drilling and support vessels, and (3) the environmental safety of the Puget Sound.

During their transit through the Puget Sound and Straits of Juan De Fuca, the Arctic drilling, support and towing vessels and assist tugs will be operating with limited ability to maneuver. The safety zone is being established to ensure safety for all waterway users.  Interference with vessels that are limited in their ability to maneuver could result in collision, grounding, serious injury, death or pollution in the highly sensitive ecosystem of the Puget Sound.  The safety zone provides ample space for any vessel to operate near the Arctic drilling and support vessels during their transit without disrupting their safe navigation.

Vessels that wish to operate near the Arctic drilling and support vessels can enter the outer 400 yards of the safety zone, aft of the pilot house of the vessel or the lead towing vessels, as applicable, as long as those vessels operate at the minimum speed necessary to maintain course.

CLICK HERE for full text description of the safety zone, which can also be found in the Federal Register.

 

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