Coast Guard imposes $1,000 fines for boaters in Port Valdez

VALDEZ, Alaska – The Coast Guard Captain of the Port for Prince William Sound increased fines last week for recreational boaters entering local security zones in Port Valdez from $250 to $1,000.

While a $1,000 fine may be surprising to much of the Alaska boating public, the amount is actually the national standard for security zone violations. For commercial vessels, the fine doubles to $2,000. Repeat offenders will immediately receive fines of $5,000 to $10,000, with the potential for a maximum penalty of $32,500.

So far this year, three recreational boaters have been issued fines of $250 by the Coast Guard for entering into the local security zones.

Maps of the security zone locations are available at the Valdez Harbor Master’s office, the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit, and at many businesses around Valdez which cater to the boating public.

Valdez serves as a popular weekend spot for many boaters from the Fairbanks and Anchorage areas. A good boating weekend in Valdez can rapidly turn into a very bad one if a boat operator is not mindful of one’s navigation and enters into one of the three federally regulated security zones which exist in Port Valdez.

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