Coast Guard reopens Port of Tampa Bay to ship traffic after heavy fog closed bay
The Coast Guard reopened all Port of Tampa zones Sunday allowing ship traffic to move in and out of the port. The port reopened approximately 11 a.m. Sunday when visibility increased to 2 nautical miles, USCG said in its news release.
The Coast Guard closed the Port of Tampa Bay due to dense fog that reduced visibility to under 1 mile for much of the day Saturday. Several cruise ships and other vessels were prevented from entering or leaving.
“Our number one concern is maritime safety and ensuring the safe transit of passengers,” said Cmdr. Bill Walsh, deputy commander Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. “We are working closely with personnel from the Cooperative Vessel Traffic System, the Tampa Bay Pilots Association and other industry partners to monitor the weather, and to determine how and when we can facilitate commercial traffic. We expect the fog to return this evening thus reducing visibility and potentially causing additional closures within the ports of Tampa.”
The Coast Guard urges all mariners to pay strict attention to the weather before getting underway especially during extreme fog and unpredictable weather conditions.