The U.S. Coast Guard, for the first time in Puget Sound maritime history, has established a security zone of 500 yards around all tankers.
The edict, established Tuesday through April 15, also applies to tankers moored or anchored in Port Townsend Bay and Port Angeles Harbor or operating in waters east of the city.
“It’s part of our continuing effort to enhance safety around vessels,” Coast Guard Lt. Scott Casad of the Marine Safety Office Puget Sound in Seattle said Thursday.
“Obviously, there’s a general threat to U.S. assets, but it is nothing different than after Sept. 11 (terrorist attacks).”
The 500-yard security zone will be enforced by “randomly” patrolling Coast Guard vessels or other “peace officers,” Casad said.
Masters and pilots of tankers or other ocean-going vessels have also been notified to report violations to the Coast Guard, which would then take enforcement action, if necessary.
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