Coast Guard alerting public of Navy exercise near Port Canaveral involving blank ammo

d7ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – The Coast Guard is alerting mariners and the public through a marine safety information bulletin of a Navy exercise occurring near Port Canaveral, Florida, which involves the use of blank ammunition and smoke flares.

Flashes, the sound of real gunshots and smoke flares may be witnessed by boaters and members of the public on land nearby.

Although the blank ammunition looks and sounds like real gunfire, there are no bullets.

The exercise began Thursday and is scheduled to continue until Aug. 7, 2014, and is being conducted from the Port Canaveral East Trident Basin out to 8 nautical miles southeast of the approach channel.

The Coast Guard marine safety information bulletin is available here

Mariners are reminded not to approach within 100 yards of any Navy vessel. Additionally, all mariners shall operate at a minimum safe speed when within 500 yards of any Navy vessel.

Anyone who witnesses smoke, flares or other indicators of a vessel or person in distress and is unsure if it is related to the Navy exercise should remain on scene, if possible, and immediately report it to the nearest Coast Guard unit.

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