(a) Regulated area. The following area is a Regulated Navigation Area (RNA): All navigable waters of Oregon Inlet, North Carolina within 100 yards under or surrounding any portion of the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge.
(b) Definitions. As used in this section:
(1) Captain of the Port means the Captain of the Port (COTP) North Carolina.
(2) Captain of the Port Representative means any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer who has been authorized by the Captain of the Port North Carolina to act as a designated representative of the COTP.
(3) Hazardous condition means any condition that may adversely affect the safety of any vessel, bridge, structure, or shore area or the environmental quality of any port, harbor, or navigable waterway of the United States, as defined in 33 CFR 160.204.
(4) Official patrol vessel means any Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, state, or local law enforcement vessel(s) assigned and authorized by COTP North Carolina.
(1) The general regulations governing Regulated Navigation Areas found in 33 CFR 165.10, 165.11, and 165.13, including the Regulated Navigation Area described in paragraph (a) of this section and the following regulations, apply.
(2) Operation of vessels of certain characteristics in this RNA will be prohibited by the Captain of the Port (COTP) or designated representative in order to safeguard people and vessels from the hazards associated with shoaling and the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge from the potential catastrophic structural damage that could occur from a vessel bridge strike. The COTP or designated representative will evaluate local marine environmental conditions prior to issuing restrictions regarding vessel navigation. Factors that will be considered include, but are not limited to: hydrographic survey data, vessel characteristics such as displacement, tonnage, length and draft, current weather conditions including visibility, wind, sea state, and tidal currents.
(3) The Coast Guard will notify the public of restrictions via Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, electronic mail, U.S. Coast Guard HOMEPORT Web site, Marine Safety Information Bulletins and via other methods described in 33 CFR 165.7. Additionally, the Coast Guard will notify recognized commissions and/or committees appointed by the Dare County, North Carolina elected officials who represent commercial and recreational mariner interests in Oregon Inlet, North Carolina, when practicable, prior to imposing restrictions pursuant to enforcement of the RNA. Coast Guard personnel may be on-scene to advise the public of enforcement of any restrictions on vessel navigation within the RNA.
(4) In accordance with the general regulations, entry into, anchoring, or movement within the RNA, during periods of enforcement, is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP) or the COTP's on-scene designated representative. The “on-scene designated representative” of the COTP is any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer who has been designated by the COTP to act on the COTP's behalf. The on-scene representative may be on a Coast Guard vessel; State agency vessel, or other designated craft; or may be on shore and will communicate with vessels via VHF-FM marine band radio or loudhailer. Members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary may be present to assist COTP representatives with notification of vessel operators regarding the contents of this regulation.
(5) Any deviation from paragraph (c)(4) of this section due to extreme circumstances must be authorized by the Coast Guard District Commander, the Captain of the Port (COTP) or the COTP's designated representative. Vessels granted permission to transit the RNA must do so in accordance with the directions provided by the COTP or COTP representative to that vessel. To request permission to transit the regulated navigation area, the COTP or COTP representative can be contacted at Coast Guard Sector North Carolina, telephone number (910) 343-3880, or on VHF-FM marine band radio channel 13 (165.65 MHz) or channel 16 (156.8 MHz). During periods of enforcement, all persons and vessels given permission to enter or transit within the RNA must comply with the instructions of the COTP or designated representative. Upon being hailed by an official patrol vessel by siren, radio, flashing-light, or other means, the operator of a vessel must proceed as directed.
(d) Enforcement. The Coast Guard may be assisted in the patrol and enforcement of the Regulated Navigation Area by other Federal, State, and local agencies. The COTP may impose additional requirements within the RNA due to unforeseen changes to shoaling of Oregon Inlet or structural integrity of the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge.
(e) Notification. The Coast Guard will rely on the methods described in 33 CFR 165.7 and paragraph (c)(3) of this section to notify the public of the date, time and duration of any closure of the RNA. Violations of this RNA may be reported to the COTP at (910) 343-3880 or on VHF-FM channel 16.
[USCG-2014-0987, 80 FR 67641, Nov. 3, 2015]