The Coast Guard is seeking public comment on a proposal of a permanent regulated navigation area, enforcement of which would take place only during times when a tsunami warning is issued for the Hawaiian Islands by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
Tsunami warnings require the evacuation of a large number of vessels from their respective harbors. Following the evacuation, these vessels must remain offshore until the emergency situation has passed and the harbors have been deemed safe for re-entry. Past tsunami warnings have created potentially dangerous offshore traffic congestion between commercial and recreational vessel traffic. Because of this, designated vessel traffic staging areas are necessary for a safe and orderly evacuation of southern Oahu ports.
“These staging areas are an example of Coast Guard efforts to improve our tsunami preparedness in the Hawaiian Islands,” said Captain Shannon Gilreath, captain of the port for Honolulu. “Second only to saving lives, the safe resumption of maritime commerce is a top priority following a disaster and these areas will help accomplish that”.
Public comment and related material on the proposed regulated navigation area must be received by the Coast Guard on or before June 13, 2013.
The full proposed rule can be found and commented on here: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=USCG-2012-0080-0001
For additional information or questions, contact Lt. Cmdr. Scott Whaley, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu at (808) 522–8264 ext.352 or Scott.O.Whaley@uscg.mil.
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