Coast Guard imposes waterway restrictions around the Mackinac Bridge

Mackinac Bridge Coast Guard file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher M. Yaw

Coast Guard file photo of the Mackinac Bridge by Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher M. Yaw

SAULT STE MARIE, Mich., — The Coast Guard will enact a temporary security zone around the Mackinac Bridge as a security measure for the 2017 Annual Labor Day Bridge Walk Monday from 6 a.m., until event conclusion.

Per 33 C.F.R. §165.928, the security zone includes all waters on either side of the Mackinac Bridge within one-quarter mile of the bridge.

As part of enhanced security measures for this year’s event, all waters within the security zone will be closed to recreational vessel traffic. Only commercial vessels with a valid Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection or foreign equivalent, and under the command of a licensed mariner, will be permitted to transit through the security zone.

Commercial vessels seeking to enter and transit the zone must obtain permission from the Coast Guard prior to entering the zone and should do so at least one hour in advance. Vessels should make initial contact with Vessel Traffic Services St. Mary’s River on VHF channel 12. All vessels entering or moving within the security zone must operate at speeds necessary to maintain a safe course and not exceed 12 knots. The on scene Coast Guard Patrol Commander may control the movement of all vessels in the security zone and may subject vessels intending to transit the zone to additional screening as a condition of entry.

The Coast Guard may be assisted in the patrol and enforcement of this security zone by federal, state and local agencies. When hailed or signaled by an official patrol vessel, a vessel in the zone is required to immediately comply with the directions given. Uncooperative mariners will be expelled from the zone, cited for failure to comply, or both. All concerned traffic may contact the Coast Guard Patrol Commander on VHF channel 16.

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