Fourth Channel Opened For Commercially Essential Traffic

2024-04-26T10:08:32-04:00April 26th, 2024|


The Unified Command has reported that the Captain of the Port has established a fourth channel, the Fort McHenry Limited Access Channel, which will run the length of the northeast side of the federal channel, and provide additional access to commercially essential traffic.

The limited access deep draft channel has a controlling depth of a minimum of 35 feet, a 300-foot horizontal clearance, and a vertical clearance of 214 feet. Additional restrictions for transits are outlined in MSIB 043-24, including weather limitations which may impact the transit window.

Starting Monday, April 29, operations to remove the M/V DALI will require suspension of transits through the Fort McHenry Limited Access Channel. Once deemed safe, the channel will reopen for commercial traffic.

“We’re working to strike a balance between enabling temporary access to support commercial activity and undertaking necessary measures to fully reopen the Fort McHenry Channel,” said U.S. Coast Guard Capt. David O’Connell, Captain of the Port and Federal On-Scene Coordinator, Key Bridge Response 2024. “This limited access deep draft channel will provide a window for five of the deep draft vessels currently unable to depart the port as well as some smaller deep draft vessels to transit. 

Meanwhile, the Unified Command personnel continue to work full speed ahead to safely and efficiently finish operations.”

Captains of the Port enforce regulations ensuring port safety, security, and marine environmental protection. This includes oversight of vessel and facility security, navigation safety, pollution prevention, and overall port operations within their designated areas.

For more information regarding waterways access in the Sector Maryland-National Capital Region Captain of the Port Zone, visit


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