Coast Guard reduces closed portion of the Tennessee River

PADUCAH, Ky. – The U. S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port Ohio Valley, under authority of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act and in partnership with local, state and federal officials, reduced the closed portion of the Tennessee River, Thursday, to the stretch between Calvert City, Ky. (mile marker 14) to Little Bear Creek (mile marker 27) including portions of Kentucky Lake. The Cumberland River remains closed in the vicinity of Carthage, Tenn. (mile marker 313.6) to Smithland, Ky. (mile marker 0), including Lake Barkley.

Recreational boaters are allowed to operate on all other portions of the Tennessee River between Puducah, Ky. and Pickwick Landing during daylight hours only.

Heavy rain falls over the past weekend throughout the Tennessee Valley have necessitated record high water discharge rates from dams along both river systems, creating hazardous river conditions for recreational vessels. The dangers created by these high discharge rates are many, including swift river currents, heavy debris flows, spilled hazardous materials, and submerged objects including break walls, boat docks, and piers. These extreme flows have also made the navigation buoys in the area unreliable.

Because of these dangers, all recreational vessels are restricted from operating in these areas to include bays, creeks and tributaries until the safety zone is lifted. The water levels and river conditions are being evaluated several times daily.

Persons found in violation of the safety zones can be fined under U.S. Code 33. The maximum penalty for violating a safety zone is $32,500.00.

Boaters are reminded that any wake given off by their vessel during high water can be extremely dangerous and damaging. Vessels should operate at the slowest safe speed while transiting in and out of bays and marinas.

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