Coast Guard: Port of Key West is closed

The Port of Key West is closed to all civilian boats, including small, personal vessels like dinghies and kayaks, says the top Coast Guard official in the Southernmost city.

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, the channel to the port is littered with disabled sailing vessels that were moored nearby before the powerful storm arrived last Sunday.

“The Army Corps of Engineers has to come in and remove sailing vessels blocking the channel,” U.S. Coast Guard Sector Key West Commander Capt. Jeffrey Janzen said during a public Emergency Operations Center conference call Thursday night.

Janzen said only Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission vessels are allowed to operate in the port.

Janzen also reported that his crews responded to a small civilian airplane crash near mile marker 11. It’s not clear if anyone was injured in the crash.

David Goodhue: 305-440-3204