Torres on small boats: No access beyond reef

Posted on Mar 31 2020

Only the Garapan Fishing Base boat ramp will be open for small boats, which will only be allowed to operate within the lagoon.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres made this announcement yesterday, as a response to a growing confusion in the community following reports that several boat ramps and docks—Sugar Dock, Garapan Fishing Base, Smiling Cove Marina, and the Tanapag Ramp—will be closed until further notice.

“Small boats will only be allowed to operate within the lagoon; no access beyond the reef,” the governor added.

Torres explained that, due to the escalation of the COVID-19 situation in the CNMI, government resources are being redirected to assist with COVID-19 response and operation.

“As a result, boating safety operations and response will be limited in the lagoon. We do not have access or the capacity to respond to any emergency or distress calls beyond the lagoon, hence the boat restriction,” he said.

Aside from restrictions on boating and lagoon operations, all public beaches, parks, including pathways will also be closed to the public.

The governor added that the restriction may be revised, once full capacity can be restored for boating safety.

Iva Maurin | Author
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at
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