Coast Guard reopens Port of Savannah with restrictions

CypressSAVANNAH, Ga. — The Coast Guard Captain of the Port for the Port of Savannah hasreopened the port Tuesday with some restrictions.

The Coast Guard, along with other federal, state and local agency partners, continues their efforts Wednesday to reopen the Port of Savannah since Hurricane Matthew damaged, destroyed or moved 50 navigational aids needed for the safe navigation of the port.

Crews from the Coast Guard Cutter Anvil, Cutter Cypress, Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team (ANT) Tybee Island and Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Fort Lauderdale are working to identify, remove, replace or repair the navigational infrastructure necessary to fully open the port.

“Of all the ports affected by Hurricane Matthew, the Port of Savannah was hit the hardest,” said Coast Guard Cmdr. Amy Beach, Marine Safety Unit Savannah commander.  “Our crews have been working tirelessly since Hurricane Matthew hit the area.  I know how vital the Port of Savannah is to the nation, and fully reopening the port is my top priority.”

Seven buoys will need to be repositioned, and three range markers will need to be rebuilt in order to fully reopen the Port of Savannah to deepdraft vessels.

The Coast Guard continues to work with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, Army Corps of Engineers, Georgia Ports Authority, Savannah Pilots Association and others to reconstitute the Port of Savannah.

There are currently five inbound vessels and three additional vessels awaiting transit through the Savannah River.

“Georgia Ports Authority facilities in Savannah are fully operational, and the GPA staff continues to work closely with all parties to safely schedule vessel movement at the ports,” said Griff Lynch, Georgia Ports Authority executive director.   

The Coast Guard Cutter Anvil is a 75-foot inland construction tender, homported in Charleston, South Carolina.  The Coast Guard Cutter Cypress is a 225-foot seagoing buoy tender homeported in Pensacola.

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