Coast Guard planning a No-Anchor Zone in Straits of Mackinac

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MACKINAW CITY, Mich.– Federal authorities will soon enact a no-anchor zone in the Straits of Mackinac.

Officials hope it will help in preventing further anchor strikes on lake-bottom utility lines.

The restriction zone barring anchoring and loitering by certain boats in the Straits spans about 40 miles wide, from just west of Sturgeon Bay to just east of Bois Blanc Island. North to south, it extends from about St. Ignace to Cheboygan.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s navigation restriction goes into effect Oct. 31, a little less than a month before the no-anchor zone established by Gov. Rick Snyder under emergency rule expires.

The zone is about 20 times wider than the one set by Snyder, which begins at the Mackinac Bridge and extends about two miles west.

Vessels will only be allowed to anchor or loiter with advanced permission from the Coast Guard leadership, while sightseeing, tourism and ferrying vessels can request a waiver.

The anchor ban applies only to the following vessels:
– Ships 131 feet or longer while navigating
– Vessels 65 feet or longer engaged in towing
– Ships engaged in trade which are certified to carry 50 or more workers
– Any dredge or floating plant

The Coast Guard’s proposal does not state what punishment a company would face for dragging its anchor in the ban zone.

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