Safety zone set in Savannah to import giant cranes

(SAVANNAH, Ga.) — The U.S. Coast Guard will enforce a temporary safety zone in the Savannah River on Thursday for the import of the largest gauge ship-to-shore cranes in U.S. history.

The Coast Guard captain of the port will establish a safety zone during the import of the cranes to ensure the safety and security of the public and all vessels in the channel. The safety zone is expected to be in place from 12:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Feb. 9.

Vessels are not permitted to enter into, transit through, moor or anchor within 1,500 feet of the motor vessel Biglift Baffin. 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.

Eamonn Leahy/ photo

“Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Savannah’s dedicated team of regulatory experts have worked around the clock since November 2022 to review plans and meet with port partners to ensure that these new giant cranes safely arrive to the Georgia Port Authority Garden City Terminal,” said Lt. Cmdr. Akaninyene Inyang, Marine Safety Unit Savannah prevention department head. “Team MSU Savannah also coordinated with other Coast Guard units and government agencies in this historic effort.”

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 Channel 21 or Channel 16, or the Coast Guard Sector Charleston 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.

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Rich Miller