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Important Information for Boaters and Kayakers Attending 4th of July Celebrations on Charles River

In order to ensure all those attending the July 4 celebrations on the Charles River in Boston by water are able to enjoy the day safely, the Massachusetts State Police remind the public of the following.

-No swimming is permitted for the full day, this includes in the immediate vicinity of your own boat.

-All travel from the locks heading up river will be shut down at 8 p.m.

-All boats and kayaks must be anchored and not underway by 8:15 p.m., and remain so for the duration of the fireworks.

-All boats must stay 100 feet from shore and 1000 feet from the fireworks barges.

-All kayaks must have an all around white light, turned on and visible, after sunset. Be sure the light is not hidden inside of your life vest. Cellphone lights do not meet this requirement. Additional lights are recommended and only increase your own safety to ensure you are visible to motor vessels

-The Craigie Street Bridge at Leverett Circle will not reopen until 1 a.m. For boats that require a bridge opening to leave the Charles River (12 foot bridge clearance or higher), you will not be able to do so until 1 a.m.

-All boaters use extreme caution when breaking anchor after the fireworks, maintain headway speed only, and be sure not to create a wake. Use spotlights sparingly only to identify other boats or kayaks in the water; continued use of a spotlight at night is illegal. Use of spotlights can severely decrease night vision to other boat operators.

-Kayakers are advised to use extreme caution after the fireworks end and boats begin to break anchor. Even with no wake rules in place, the large amount of boats breaking anchor and getting underway at the same time will move large amounts of water. It is recommended that kayaks operate up and down river at the outermost edges of the river and allow motor vessels to stay toward the center.

A reminder to all vessel operators: ensure your navigation lights operate correctly before getting underway for the day. If you require emergency assistance, the Massachusetts State Police will monitor VHF Channel 16. To request passage through the Charles River Locks, you may hail the operator on VHF Radio Channel 13, or request passenger via two prolonged then two short blasts of your horn. The Craigie Street Bridge and Tower A (Train Bridge) operator may be raised on channel 13 to request an opening.


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