Security zones around cruise
by Dave Timmerman
April 27, 2005
In case no one has been informed, or this news skipped over you,
I thought it best to get this out to Sitnews.
Most locals are well aware
of the security on the cruise ship docks during the summer. It
is hard not to notice the big orange barriers, guards in orange
vests, or the fact that the general public in not allowed to
drive onto the dock anymore (among other things).
Well there is yet another set
of rules and regulations being proposed by the USCG. This new
set of rules mandates a "security zone" be in place
around High Capacity Passenger (HCP) vessels (know to us common
folk as cruise ships).
I have copied and pasted a
summary of the proposed rule below.
[Federal Register: March 9,
2005 (Volume 70, Number 45)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
This proposed rule would control
vessel movement in a regulated area surrounding high capacity
passenger (HCP) vessels to address security concerns. It would
prohibit persons or vessels from entering a security zone that
extends 100 yards around and under HCP vessels that are underway
and 25 yards around and under HCP vessels that are anchored or
moored within the Coast Guard District 17 zone, except as noted
in this regulation.
For the purpose of this regulation,
HCP vessels are those vessels of U.S. or foreign registry, certificated
to carry 500 passengers or more. Public vessels are vessels owned,
chartered, or operated by the United States, or by a State or
political subdivision thereof. For the purpose of this regulation,
Alaska Marine Highway vessels are not HCP vessels. The passengers
and crew of the respective HCP vessel are persons not subject
to this regulation. Public vessels, vessels working on behalf
and at the direction of the HCPs (i.e., local transport of passengers,
tender vessels, etc.), or vessels granted waiver or permission
by the 17th Coast Guard District Commander, cognizant Captain
of the Port (COTP), or on-scene official patrol are vessels not
subject to this regulation.
Vessels requesting to enter
the security zone must contact the Coast Guard District 17 Commander,
his or her designated representatives, the cognizant COTP, or
on-scene official patrol on VHF-FM channel 16 or 13. The Coast
Guard District 17 Commander, the cognizant COTP, or on-scene
official patrol may permit vessels to enter the security zone
if it is necessary to ensure a safe passage in accordance with
the Navigation Rules or for other good cause. Similarly, all
vessels anchored in a designated anchorage area may be permitted
to remain at anchor within 100 yards of a passing HCP vessel.
All vessels operating within
250 yards of a HCP vessel in the RNA must proceed at the minimum
speed necessary to maintain a safe course, unless required to
maintain speed by the navigation rules. All persons and vessels
within 250 yards of a HCP vessel in the RNA must be attentive
to and comply with the orders of the District Commander, cognizant
COTP, or designated on-scene official patrol. Link (there seems to be trouble with this
link from time to time---if it does not work you can go to---
and in the search area space for 2005 (Volume 70) Only type
into that space page 11595 --- this should take you to the
page you need.
Suffice it to say you will
no longer be allowed to have a boat (or plane, for that matter),
anywhere near a cruise ship without first contacting the US Coast
Guard and getting permission. A ship docked next to Thomas Basin
could block off the entrance to Thomas Basin. Part of City Float
would be affected. Vessels wanting to utilize Ryus, Daly and
Hansen Floats would all be subject to this rule while cruise
ships were in. We all know how busy Tongass Narrows can get during
the summer. There is only so much Narrows out there. If these
zones were to go into effect it could greatly decrease the area
that would be usable without first getting permission.
There has already been a first
round of comment where only 19 entities supplied comment to the
USCG. These comments, and the request for more time to respond,
prompted the USCG to extend the comment period until MAY 27th.
That is only one month people. I copied and pasted the information
on where to send your comments and who to direct them to, along
with a few more things---
Request for Comments
On March 9, 2005, D17 (MOC)
published a Federal Register Notice seeking comments on the proposed
Regulated Navigation Area and Security Zones; High Capacity Passenger
Vessels in Alaska (70 FR 11595). The initial comment period was
30 days. A total of 19 public comments were received by the April
8, 2005, deadline, and all of them raised important issues on
possible effects of the proposed rule.
Additionally, others persons
commented to the Coast Guard and said they needed more time.
To ensure the Coast Guard receives comments from interested parties
and to allow more time for dissemination of the proposed rule,
the Coast Guard is re-opening the public comment period for an
additional 30 days.
We encourage you to submit
comments and related material pertaining specifically to this
rulemaking by submitting comments and related material. If you
do so, please include your name and address, identify the docket
number for this rulemaking (CGD17-05), and give the reason for
each comment. You may submit your comments and material by mail,
hand delivery, fax, or electronic means to the project officer
at the addresses or phone numbers listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
CONTACT, but please submit your comments and material by only
one means. If you submit them by mail or hand delivery, submit
them in an unbound format, no larger than 8\1/2\ by 11 inches,
suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you would like
to know that your submission reached us, please enclose a stamped,
self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments
and material received during the comment period. The recommendation
made by this office may be affected by comments received.
We do not plan to hold a public
meeting. However, you may submit a request for a public meeting
by writing to District 17 (MOC) at the address under ADDRESSES
explaining why one would be beneficial. If we determine that
a public meeting would aid this rulemaking, we will hold one
at a time and place announced by a separate notice in the Federal
Dated: April 18, 2005.
James C. Olson,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Seventeenth Coast
DATES: Comments and related
material must reach the Coast Guard on or before May 27, 2005.
ADDRESSES: You may mail comments
and related material to District 17 (MOC), 709 West 9th St.,
Room 753, Juneau, Alaska 99801.
District 17 (MOC) maintains
the public docket for this rulemaking. Comments and related materials
received from the public will become part of this docket and
will be available for inspection or copying at District 17 (MOC),
709 West 9th St., Room 753, Juneau, Alaska 99801 between 9 a.m.
and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
LT Matthew York, District 17 (MOC), 709 West 9th St., Room 753,
Juneau, Alaska 99801, (907) 463-2821."
So there it is Ketchikan (and
any other communities that could be effected by this new rule).
Get your comments in. I realize that there is a lot of information
to trudge through here...but really it is just the tip of the
iceberg (and don't be suprised if we have security zones around
them someday too!).
Ketchikan, AK - USA
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