DULUTH, Minn. — The Twin Ports will host the Tall Ships Duluth Festival from Thursday through Sunday, and the U.S. Coast Guard has established and will enforce a safety zone around each tall ship participating in the festival while navigating on the Great Lakes.
Due to the limited maneuverability of the tall ships and to ensure safe steerage, all vessels are required to maintain a distance of 300 feet (100 yards) from the ships at all times, including the World’s Largest Rubber Duck and towing vessel.
The safety zone is in effect whether vessels are transiting, anchored or moored.
Additionally, from approximately 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, the tall ships will participate in a parade of sail under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge and into the harbor. The parade route starts approximately one mile from the Duluth entry, and from there they head inbound to moorings at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center. The Duluth ship channel and surrounding basin will be closed to all vessels except participating ships during this time.
Entering or crossing the parade route is prohibited. If in doubt, please contact the Coast Guard patrol commander on VHF channel 16. Official vessels assisting with the parade may be seen within the zone and will be identified with signage.
To ensure the safety of all spectators in the Duluth Harbor Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard will establish and enforce a speed restriction of not more than 6 knots or at no wake speed, whichever is less, for all vessels. Vessels proceeding under sail will not be allowed in the area unless also propelled by machinery due to limited maneuvering ability around numerous other spectator craft viewing the tall ships.
Vessels may enter the 300-foot safety zone of moored tall ships only to transit through the Duluth entry or enter the Minnesota Slip at the conclusion of the parade of sail and throughout the weekend. Vessels must proceed at a no wake speed, may not loiter, or at anytime come within 75 feet (25 yards) of the tall ships. Temporary buoys will be in place to mark boundary of 300 foot safety zone from moored tall ships.
The Coast Guard reminds boaters to make proper preparations at all times while on the water, such as filing a float plan, wearing life jackets, and having a marine radio or other means of communication aboard. This is particularly important when operating in or around a large marine event such as the Tall Ships Duluth. Boaters should expect a large number of vessels and take extra precaution when transiting the area around the event. All boaters are reminded of the dangers of boating under the influence and are encouraged to consider alternatives to using alcohol while afloat. More BUI and safe boating information can be found at www.uscgboating.org, including the CG Boating Safety Mobile App.