Coast Guard to establish safety zone, regulated area for Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial tall ships festival

Ninth CG District Logo - D9
TOLEDO, Ohio — The Coast Guard is alerting boaters of a temporary safety zone and a special local regulated area scheduled to be established for the upcoming Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial tall ships festival on the waters of Lake Erie in the vicinity of Put-in-Bay, Ohio.

The safety zone and the regulated area will help ensure the safety and security of tall ships participating in the festival as well as citizens who choose to enjoy the festival from the water and will be in effect from Thursday to Monday.

Thursday – Monday:

Boaters will not be allowed to transit within 100 yards of any tall ship while the vessels are underway, at anchor, or moored at their event location. The prohibition will be strictly enforced by members of the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft, and numerous local law enforcement agencies.


The Coast Guard will enforce a 500–yard safety zone around all tall ships participating in the Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial reenactment. The exact course the tall ships will take during the battle reenactment will depend on the day’s wind and weather conditions.

Additionally, the Coast Guard will establish a special local regulated area encompassing the viewing area for the reenactment. This regulated area is a circle with a radius of 4,500 yards centered on the sound effects barge located at the reenactment site.

Spectator vessels may not anchor within a 4,500-yard radius of the sound effects barge, as they may have to give way to the tall ships on short notice. Also, while in this regulated area, boaters must yield right-of-way to event safety craft and must follow directions given by the U.S. Coast Guard patrol commander, on-scene representative, or other law enforcement representatives assisting the patrol commander during the event. Event safety craft will be flying orange triangular pennants with the words “SAFETY BOAT” written on the pennants in black letters.

Tall Ships flyer

The Coast Guard is providing this flyer with more information about safely transiting in the vicinity of tall ships. Click to open in new window

Boating Safety Precautions:

With the anticipated increase in traffic on Lake Erie during the Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial, the Coast Guard is also encouraging all boaters to observe these safety tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable time on the water:

  • Make sure your boat has a life jacket for each passenger aboard. The Coast Guard also encourages everyone to wear his life jacket at all times. Donning a life jacket is much harder once you’re in the water, especially if you’re injured.
  • Invest in a VHF-FM marine radio as a primary means of distress alerting on the water. Communication via VHF-FM radio provides superior alerting capabilities over cellular phones.
  • Make sure you have emergency signaling devices and that they’re in working order. This includes items like day and night visible flares, a signaling mirror, a whistle, and an air horn or other sound-producing device. These help broadcast your distress and can aid emergency crews in locating you.
  • Don’t drink and boat. Alcohol accounted for nearly 17 percent of all recreational boating fatalities in 2012. Boating under the influence is just as dangerous as drinking and driving a motor vehicle, and just as illegal. The marine environment — motion, vibration, engine noise, sun, wind and spray – accelerates a drinker’s impairment. These stressors cause fatigue that can make a boat operator’s coordination, judgment and reaction time decline faster than when consuming alcohol on land. Penalties for a BUI can include large fines, revocation of operator privileges and serious jail terms. The Coast Guard aggressively prosecutes intoxicated operators.

Swimming Safety Precautions:

  • Never swim alone. When possible, swim near a lifeguard. Drowning is the third leading cause of accidental death in the United States and the second leading cause of accidental death for people aged 5 to 44.
  • If weather turns rough, observe warnings and red flags on the beaches. Stay out of heavy surf.
  • During high surf warnings, stay away from jetties, breakwalls and rocks since unsuspecting waves can knock you off balance and sweep you into the water.
  • Be aware of rip currents that can pull you away from shore. To break the grip of a rip, swim parallel to shore until you feel the current subside, and then swim inland to shore.


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