OARS program suspended due to inaccessible phones

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO A bank slide along Lake Ontario has caused part of Krull Park to be closed to the public.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The high water levels in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River have led U.S. Customs and Border Protection to suspend the Outlying Area Reporting System (OARS) program.

Because of the water being so high, many of the OARS videophone stations are not accessible to boaters.

There are 17 videophone stations, and some of them are located in western New York. The local ones are in Dunkirk, Point Breeze, North Tonawanda, Youngstown, Wilson, Olcott and the Erie Basin in Buffalo.

Any recreational boater or passenger coming from Canada, or those who came in contact with a foreign vessel, must report their return to U.S. waters to Customs and Border Protection officers.

The arrival can be reported by calling 1-800-827-2851. All people reporting their return must have the following information ready:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Citizenship
  • Name and registration number of vessel
  • Home Port and current location
  • Vessel’s U.S. decal number (if vessel is 30 feet or longer)

MORE | Find more information on how to get an I-68 landing permit here or a trusted traveler document here, or contact the nearest U.S port of entry for information.

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