Coast Guard modifies safety zone on the Columbia River

DEPOE BAY, Ore. — The Coast Guard safety zone established Tuesday restricting vessels for a portion of the Columbia River has been updated and now extends from river mile 126 to 185 (east of Reed Island to the vicinity of the Dalles).

Watercraft are allowed in parts of the restricted area, but are required to stay 500 yards away from aircraft engaged in water removal operations, and the river is restricted to all watercraft between miles 154 to 158 (Anderson Point in Hood River County to Collins Point in Skamania County, Washington).

Any vessel desiring to transit through the restricted 4-mile area between miles 154 and 158 must request authorization from the Coast Guard. Each request will be evaluated on a case by case basis to balance waterway user safety and the evolving needs of the Eagle Creek incident response.

All watercraft desiring to transit through Columbia River miles 154 to 158 should contact Coast Guard waterways management personnel at (503) 572-3524 to request authorization to transit through the safety zone.

The safety zone is in response to impacts of the Eagle Creek Fire in Central Oregon. The Coast Guard Captain of the Port for the Columbia River established a safety zone, to best support incident response operations and to ensure the safety of the boating community.

The Columbia River is an essential commercial waterway for the Pacific Northwest and is the principle route for vessel traffic to move annual $29 Billion in cargo up and down the multi-state waterway.

The Coast Guard is alerting mariners about the safety zone through broadcasts on marine VHF radio channels 16 and 22A. Entry of vessels or persons into the safety zone (miles 154-158) is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port.

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