Coast Guard, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources stress importance of safety zones

Crew members from the U.S. Coast Guard Gulf Strike Team, from Mobile, Alabama, and Coast Guard Station Georgetown rescued 10 people and four pets Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018 after floodwaters spilled into an apartment complex near Socastee, South Carolina, Sept. 19, 2018. Due to Hurricane Florence, rivers flooding from the north continue to pose a threat to communities throughout South Carolina. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Crew members from the U.S. Coast Guard Gulf Strike Team, from Mobile, Alabama, and Coast Guard Station Georgetown rescued 10 people and four pets Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018 after floodwaters spilled into an apartment complex near Socastee, South Carolina, Sept. 19, 2018. Due to Hurricane Florence, rivers flooding from the north continue to pose a threat to communities throughout South Carolina. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The U.S. Coast Guard and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources have determined that potential hazards associated with and resulting from high waters are present and have established safety zones effective Monday, Sept. 24 through Oct. 19 to protect personnel, vessels and the marine environment.

The Coast Guard Captain of the Port has set a temporary safety zones that prohibit vessel transit on all waters in the following areas:

  • Intracoastal Waterway from Winyah Bay to the Little River Swing Bridge
  • Waccamaw River between U. S. Business Highway 501 and U. S. Highway 501 in Conway
  • Sampit River
  • Great Pee Dee River from Winyah Bay northward to the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge
  • Black River from its junction with the Great Pee Dee northward to U.S. Highway 701 Bridge

“The U.S. Coast Guard, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and our extensive network of federal, state and local partners have been constantly evaluating the situation and potential public safety threats caused by record-breaking flooding throughout the Pee Dee region of South Carolina,” said Lt. J.B. Zorn, Coast Guard public information officer, South Carolina. “To best protect the public from potential hazards, safety and exclusionary zones have been established. We remind the public to seek permission on a case-by-case basis to enter a safety zone through a designated representative, preferably on-scene. Please avoid rumors during this extremely dangerous situation.”

To seek permission to enter the safety zone; recreational vessels may contact SCDNR at 843-915-5990, commercial vessels may contact USCG at 843-323-7761, or through a designated on-scene representative. A designated representative means federal, state, or a local law enforcement officer assisting the USCG or SCDNR in the enforcement of the safety zones. Those in the safety zone must comply with all lawful orders or directions given to them by the USCG or SCDNR designated representatives.

Marine Safety Information Bulletins 39-18 and 40-18 can be viewed here.

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