Coast Guard to enforce safety zone for tow of USS Texas

(HOUSTON) — The U.S. Coast Guard will enforce a safety zone in the Houston Ship Channel and Galveston Ship Channel for the tow of the battleship USS Texas on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

During the tow of the ship from the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site in La Porte, Texas, to a dry dock in Galveston, Texas, the Coast Guard captain of the port will establish a safety zone to ensure the safety of the public and security for all vessels in the channel. The tow is expected to take place from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Vessels are not permitted to enter into, transit through, moor, or anchor within 1,000 feet of USS Texas. No vessels will be permitted in the safety zone 30 minutes prior to, during, and 30 minutes after the event unless authorized by the Coast Guard.

USS Texas (BB-35) off New York City, circa 1919. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command photo

All vessel operators desiring to enter any safety zone must obtain permission from the captain of the port by contacting on-scene Coast Guard patrol craft on VHF-FM channels 13 or 16, or the Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston command center via Channel 16. Violating these zones is a felony offense. Boaters who enter these zones will be escorted from the area immediately and may be subject to fines of up to $250,000 and/or up to six years in federal prison.

Over the past several months, marine safety experts from Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston have been working in close partnership with the Battleship Texas Foundation, Houston Pilots, Galveston-Texas City Pilots, multiple state and local entities and the Coast Guard’s Salvage Engineering Response Team in preparation for the USS Texas transit. The team reviewed and analyzed all aspects of the tow plan for USS Texas, ensuring adherence to the highest safety standards.

For updates on the ship, visit the Battleship Texas Foundation.

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Rich Miller