Coast Guard reopens port of Ft. Meyers

The Coast Guard Captain of the Port opens the Port. (U.S. Coast Guard graphic by PA3 Jose Hernandez)(U.S. Coast Guard graphic by PA3 Jose Hernandez)

The Coast Guard Captain of the Port opens the Port. (U.S. Coast Guard graphic by PA3 Jose Hernandez)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Captain of the Port has set Port Condition Four for the maritime port of Fort Myers and all areas south to the furthest extent of the COTP zone for commercial vessel traffic following satisfactory channel surveys and aids to navigation verifications, Friday.

During Port Condition Four, port facilities are open to all commercial vessel traffic and cargo operations may resume, including bunkering and lightering. Mariners are advised to use caution in non-federal waters as debris is still being cleaned up and aids to navigation may be damaged or missing.

All mariners are advised to use caution due to the high potential for floating debris and are asked to continue reporting any hazardous conditions to the Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg Command Center via VHF marine radio channel 16 or by calling (727) 824-7506.

The Coast Guard continues to work with federal, state and local partners to support the State of Florida’s hurricane recovery efforts. In advance of the long holiday weekend, we remind all mariners and beachgoers of the following:

  • Stay off the water unless you are playing a critical role in the response.
  • Avoid navigating at night or in unfamiliar waterways impacted by the storm.
  • Stay out of the way of the boats directly involved in the response
  • Do not approach or speed by working boats and barges; treat them as a “no wake” zone.
  • Be sure you have a working VHF marine radio and a cell phone with a charged battery in case of emergency.
  • Do not operate personal unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) around working crews or in areas with low-flying aircraft (helicopters).
  • Verify mariner credentials for any boat you are hiring for transportation or commercial chartering services.
  • Before you return your boat to the water, consider requesting a vessel safety check from the Coast Guard Auxiliary– these free 15-minute inspections could save your life!

Reporting a hazardous substance release or oil spill takes only a few minutes. To report a release or spill, contact the federal government’s centralized reporting center, the National Response Center (NRC), at 1-800-424-8802. The NRC is staffed 24 hours a day by personnel who will ask you to provide as much information about the incident as possible. Please include the following:

  • Your name, location, organization and contact number.
  • Location of the incident.
  • Source and cause of the release or spill (if known).
  • Types of material(s) released or spilled (if known).
  • Quantity of materials released or spilled (if known).
  • Medium (e.g. land, water) affected by release or spill.
  • Danger or threat posed by the release or spill.
  • Weather conditions at the incident location.
  • Other agencies notified or about to be notified.
  • Any other information that may help emergency personnel respond to the incident.

If reporting directly to the NRC is not possible, reports also can be made to the EPA Regional office or the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office in the area where the incident occurred. In general, EPA should be contacted if the incident involves a release to inland areas or inland waters. The Coast Guard should be contacted for releases to coastal waters, ports and harbors. The EPA or the Coast Guard will relay release and spill reports to the NRC promptly.

The best way to help if you are not directly involved in the response it to stay off the water. For information on how to help in the response effort, visit Emergency Management – Volunteer Florida.

Information on the status of Port Conditions can be obtained from the Sector St. Petersburg HOMEPORT internet site at

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