(Green Bay, Wis.) – With the busy holiday weekend just ahead, recreational boaters are expected to be out in full force on the Lower Fox River and bay. While it’s fun being out on the water, it’s important for boaters to be aware of the large, commercial vessels that may be coming into and moving out of the Port of Green Bay.

“While the Independence Day holiday is a long weekend with many businesses closed and people off of work, the shipping industry continues uninterrupted,” said Dean Haen, director for the Port of Green Bay. “Everyone on the river in the downtown area, as well as in the bay, should be aware that commercial vessels could be moving through those areas.”

Haen offers these guidelines:

  • Recreational boaters should stay a safe distance from commercial vessels. Generally, it’s recommended that recreational boats do not come within 100 yards of a commercial ship. “It’s easier for you to see a large ship than it is for the commercial vessel to see you,” explained Haen.
  • Boaters should be aware that traveling alongside a commercial vessel when it uses its bow thrusters is dangerous.
  • Avoid double rafting boats along City Deck. The rafting boats maybe in the navigation channel.   Be aware tying up to lower docks at the water level in the downtown district when commercial vessels are navigating the area during high use times (Friday night to Sunday nights). There is a narrow navigational channel and it can bring ships close to the docks.
  • Carry an approved Personal Flotation Device (life jacket) for each person on your boat. Be sure everyone on board is either wearing a PFD, or has easy access to one. Stowing them in hard to reach places won’t help if there’s an emergency.

“We want people to enjoy being out on the water, and the best way to do that safely is by being aware of everything happening on the water and being respectful of those around you,” added Haen.

Be sure to check out the Port of Green Bay website (www.portofgreenbay,com), or its social media pages, to see when commercial ship arrivals are expected.

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