PANAMA CITY-- If you can read this, you’re too darn close. That’s the reason behind the new signs going up at Naval Support Activity Panama City (NSA PC), along the St. Andrew Bay perimeter and at the mouth of Alligator Bayou, the main thoroughfare for waterborne traffic at the base.
“We’ve had a number of incidents lately where individuals have inadvertently entered restricted areas around the base, either by boat or on foot along the shoreline,” said Cmdr. Christopher Serow, Commanding Officer at NSA PC. “These areas have been marked with signs for years, but the signs have deteriorated and are hard to read from a distance.”
NSA PC property and adjacent waters are restricted for the safety and security of base personnel and assets, as well as for the visitors who might accidentally enter those restricted areas.
“We are distributing fliers outlining the restricted areas to local marinas and other businesses to help them share the information with their customers,” Serow said.
The restricted waters around the base are clearly described in Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), section 334.760, which lists the coordinates marking the base’s restricted perimeter.
Essentially, the restricted area runs along the shoreline of the installation and extends from the mean high water line waterward to a distance of approximately 100 feet, and includes the entirety of Alligator Bayou.
“No vessel, person or other craft shall enter, transit, anchor, drift or otherwise navigate within the area…” without written permission from the officer in charge of the installation, according to the regulation.
The restrictions noted in this section of the CFR are in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and regulations are enforced by NSA PC Security and other agencies that may be designated. Those found in violation can be charged with trespassing on U.S. Government property, and multiple offenses could result in fines and other penalties commensurate to the nature of the violation.
Within the next several weeks, the Navy will replace the existing signs with 22 four-ft. by eight-ft. signs along the shoreline that read “Warning—US Government Property—No Trespassing—Stay Back 100 Feet.” Two five-by-ten ft. signs near the mouth of Alligator Bayou will warn boaters to keep out of the U.S. Government waterway. Additionally, the Navy will install buoys to mark the restricted waters along the installation shoreline.