Access to San Clemente Island is dependent on civilian vessels not impacting the island military mission. The new San Clemente island website was created to help increase vessel access to the island. SAC received the following message from the U.S. Navy this morning and there is extreme concern by their command over lack of compliance. Please advise your captains of the importance of observing the access timelines to prevent shutting down a Navy mission.
SCI Range Control counted 16 craft anchored just off West Cove this morning fishing for squid. Would you be able to notify your distribution list that anchoring in West Cove is prohibited in accordance with 33 CFR 334.921, which states:
“Pacific Ocean at san Clemente Island, Calif; naval restricted area.
(a) The area. All waters between the northern and southern boundaries of the area known as West Cove seaward approximately four miles.
The northern boundary is defined by coordinates:
33 00′ 52″ N. 118 36′ 18 W
32 59′ 30″ N. 118 37′ 30 W
32 59′ 20″ N. 118 38′ 38 W
The southern boundary
33 00′ 40″ N. 118 35′ 27 W
32 58′ 30″ N. 118 36′ 40 W
32 57′ 45″ N. 118 38′ 38 W
(1) The use of this area for anchorage is prohibited to all craft at all times.”
The Navy has $250 billion worth of in-water cables running through West Cove, so it is critical that vessels do not anchor and then inadvertently pull up a cable in these waters.