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Security Zone Ordered Near Cruise Ships

November 03, 2001|From A Times Staff Writer

To enhance security at the Port of Los Angeles, a 100-yard security zone has been ordered around all cruise ships arriving or departing from the harbor, the U.S. Coast Guard announced Friday.

The security zone, in effect until May 1, 2002, cannot be encroached upon even by military ships, said Jeff Gunn, Coast Guard chief warrant officer.

"This has been done in the past with tankers that have hazardous cargo aboard," Gunn said. "But I can't recall it being done with cruise ships."

The Coast Guard and port police will be enforce the safety zones, he said. Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, restrictions have been in place for U.S. Navy ships.

Every week at the Port of Los Angeles there are about 10 cruise ship departures and arrivals.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the two busiest container ports in the country, have been on tactical alert since Sept. 11, with vessels leaving them escorted by the Coast Guard.

The cruise ship safety zone begins at the buoy marking the entrance to the Port of Los Angeles about five land miles offshore. The zone also is in place as the ship is anchored at terminal.

Chief Warrant Officer Lance Jones said authorities are being wary of any vessel approaching another.

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