The Coast Guard will enforce 15 temporary security zones around certain bridges on the waters of Pinellas County and Tampa Bay during the 2012 Republican National Convention. The security zones will be in effect from Sat. Aug. 25 at 12:01 p.m. until Fri. Aug.31 at 1:00 a.m. All vessels and boaters are prohibited from loitering, anchoring, stopping, or mooring on waters within 50 yards of the designated bridges, during the times and dates listed below. Please note the security zones will be enforced 24-hours daily for the Gandy Bridge, Howard Franklin Bridge, and Courtney
Campbell Causeway. However, expeditious transit through the security zones will be authorized.
Although much of the security plan is sensitive law enforcement information and cannot be released, visible measures will include waterside security zones, increased harbor patrols and increased inspections of merchant and recreational boats.
“Our multi-mission capabilities make the Coast Guard uniquely qualified as a leader in maritime homeland security,” said Capt. Sheryl Dickinson, Captain of the Port and commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. “We will blend our capabilities with our maritime law enforcement partners to create a layered approach to RNC safety and security.”
Coast Guard security boats will work with local, state and federal enforcement partners to enforce permanent and temporary waterside security zones and patrol waterways throughout the Tampa Bay region. Violators are subject to a maximum penalty of six years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.