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Waters around Obama compound off limits to the public, Coast Guard says


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POSTED: Thursday, December 24, 2009

U.S. Coast Guard will enforce a temporary security zone in Kailua Bay beginning today and for the duration of the Obama family's visit.

President Barack Obama, his family and some friends arrive today for an 11-day visit. They will be staying at the same Kailua beachfront home where they stayed last year.

Coast Guard officials said today that there will be no public access allowed to the waters covered by the security zone.

According to the Coast Guard, the maritime security zone includes a portion of Kailua Bay, beginning at Kapoho Point and extending westward to the shoreline at Namala Place, near the Castles surf spot. The zone also includes the adjacent Kaiwanui Channel beginning at Kapoho Point to a point 85 yards mauka of the North Kalaheo Avenue Road Bridge.

Yellow buoys will be placed on the water so mariners can see the zone, officials said.

 Any person entering the zone without the permission of the Coast Guard  is subject to a penalty of not more than $25,000 or a criminal charge that can result in imprisonment up to 10 years, and a fine of not more than $10,000. Offending vessels may also be seized and held liable for any monetary assessments, officials said.

“;We recognize that this security zone may inconvenience some recreational users of the canal and ocean in that area,”; said Capt. Barry Compagnoni, the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Honolulu. “;However, we have coordinated as closely as we can with the community and law enforcement to minimize the impact and still meet the requirements for security needed by the Secret Service and the president. We are hopeful the security zone will be unobtrusive and will not negatively impact very many ocean users during the president's stay.”;

The Coast Guard will also enforce a security zone in waters around Honolulu Airport today until 10 p.m.

During enforcement of both security zones, the U.S. Coast Guard will broadcast the information to mariners via VHF marine band radio channel 16.

>> For a map of the Kailua zone, visit the Coast Guard's site.