Coast Guard, maritime partners work to reopen Ports of Savannah and Brunswick

CypressJACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Coast Guard is working diligently with its maritime partners to reopen the Ports of Savannah, Ga., and Brunswick, Ga.

Damage to navigational aids, infrastructure and vessels along the waterways, as well as potential shoaling caused by Hurricane Matthew currently hamper the Coast Guard’s ability to safely open the ports.

“The Ports of Savannah and Brunswick are a top priority for me and the Coast Guard’s Seventh District Commander,” said Cmdr. Amy Beach, Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Savannah commander.  “I am in constant communication with our federal, state and local partners to make sure we do this as quickly and safely as possible.”

Approximately 50 navigational aids were damaged or destroyed and several major navigational buoys were pulled off station by Hurricane Matthew. Leading the efforts to repair these aids are 10 aids to navigation team boat crews deployed from Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. Two 225-foot Seagoing Buoy Tenders, the Coast Guard Cutter Anvil from Miami and the Coast Guard Cutter Cypress from Pensacola, are headed to Savannah to assist local aids to navigation teams with this effort.

The Army Corps of Engineers and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are conducting underwater surveys to ensure the channels are free from obstructions and the depth is sufficient for deep draft vessel traffic.

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