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Virginia Watercraft Owner's Guide

Naval Protection Zones

All vessels must operate at minimum speed necessary to maintain a steerage and headway (no wake speed) within 500 yards of the U.S. naval vessel and proceed as directed by the Commanding Officer or the official patrol. Violations of the Naval Vessel Protection Zone are a felony offense, punishable by up to 6 years in prison and/or up to $250,000 in fines.

No vessel or person is allowed within 100 yards of a U.S. naval vessel greater than 100 feet in length. Due to Little Creek Channel's width of 150 yards, all vessels must exit Little Creek Channel when a U.S. naval vessel is approaching.

If you have questions about the Navel Vessel Protection Zone, contact Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads Waterways Management Division at 757-668-5580.

America's Waterway Watch

America's coasts, rivers, bridges, tunnels, ports, ships, military bases, and waterside industries may be the terrorists' next targets.

If you see outwardly suspicious activity, or even behavior that makes you uneasy, please report it. Here are things to look for:

  • Unattended vessels or vehicles in unusual locations.
  • Unusual night operations.
  • Recovering or tossing items into/onto the waterway or shoreline.
  • Operating in or passing through an area that does not typically have such activity.
  • Missing fencing or lighting near sensitive locations.
  • Transfer of people or items between vessels, or between vessels and the shore outside of a port.
  • Anyone operating in an aggressive manner.
  • Small planes flying over critical locations.
  • Persons attempting to buy or rent fishing or recreational vessels with cash for short-term, undefined use.
  • Other suspicious activity.

Call the National Response Center at 877-24WATCH or 911 to report suspicious activity.