Port of New York & New Jersey Resumes Normal Operations

1st Coast Guard District NewsNEW YORK – Effective at 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011, Captain of the Port, Capt. Linda Fagan, eased restrictions, imposed as a safety precaution in advance of Hurricane Irene, on operations within the Port of New York and New Jersey.

The port is open to all commercial traffic and ocean-going vessels, which will begin entering the harbor this evening. However, restrictions remain for commercial usage of the Sandy Hook Channel.

The Staten Island Ferry resumed operations at 3 p.m. today.

“After having carefully surveyed the waterways in the harbor, we feel that it is appropriate to resume nearly all normal operations,” said Fagan.

Coast Guard stations and facilities suffered no appreciation damage from the storm. Coast Guard vessels, which had ridden out the storm on the Hudson River, are returning to their home stations and all Coast Guard Sector New York vessels are expected to be at their home ports by 7 p.m. tonight.

This will reconstitute the search and rescue capability of the Sector.

Though commercial traffic has resumed and conditions are deemed safe for large vessels, the waters of the harbor are still rough and wind gusts are common. Swimmers, kayakers, fishermen and pleasure boaters are strongly advised to wait for further improvement in conditions before using the harbor for recreation.

The remnants of Hurricane Irene continue to pose a danger and waterborne leisure activities should be delayed for the next few days.

Stay clear of beaches. Wave heights and currents remain a danger. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by hurricanes. Swimmers should stay clear of beaches until local lifeguards and law enforcement officials say the water is safe.

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