Security Plans for Tall Ships Festival
Erie's Tall Ships Festival begins in less than two weeks.
A dozen ships are expected to draw tens of thousands of people to the area.
Planning for security started nine months ago.
The event has been labeled a Maine Event of National Significance.
It means the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard set the rules and get plenty of help from state and local agencies to enforce the rules to keep everyone safe, on land and one the water.
The security ramps up for the Parade of Sail, when the dozen tall ships led by Erie's Brig Niagara sail through the channel into Presque Isle Bay.
All recreational boats must remain at least 100 yards away from any tall ship.
Once the ships tied up pleasure boats must remain 25 yards away.
But there will also be rules for the expected 40.000-50,000 people who buy tickets for the festival.
They can see and tour the ships at four different bayfront locations.
Everyone will be searched, similar to getting on an airplane.
And certain items will not be allowed.
Billy Sabatini, Executive Director of the Flagship Niagara League said, "No large backpacks. You can do a purse but no large backpacks. Also no selfie sticks, or weapons of any kind. You can't bring in liquids or food."