East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale

Security Zone for the UN’s 60th Birthday Celebrations:
USCG 1st District Local Notice to Mariners 37 (LNM 37) announces that the Captain of the Port New York has established a Security Zone in the East River in the vicinity of the United Nations. The zone covers all waters of the Western Channel between East 35th Street, Manhattan, and the Queensboro Bridge from 4 pm to 7 pm on Wednesday, September 14, daily from 8 am to 7 pm Thursday, September 15 to Friday, September 23, and daily from 8 am to 7 pm Monday, September 26 to Wednesday, September 28. No vessel may enter or move within this zone without authorization from the Coast Guard Captain of the Port New York.

Dredging in the New Jersey ICW (NJICW):
Dredging will be conducted in the NJICW at Egg Harbor between September 23 and October 30, 2005.

Dredging will be conducted in the NJICW at Beesley's Point between September 15 and November 30, 2005.

The dredges can be contacted on VHF Channels 13 and 16. Mariners are requested to stay clear of the dredges, floating and submerged pipelines, buoys and wires. Mariners are requested to exercise extreme caution and no wake when approaching, passing and leaving a dredge operation location and to strictly comply with the Inland Rules of the Road.

Salt Ponds, Hampton, VA, Chesapeake Bay:
This is a narrow dredged inlet directly off the bay where the mouth of the bay is open to the Atlantic Ocean. Use caution here!

The Salt Ponds Inlet groin is under repair by Virginia Marine Structures from September 2 until November 30, 2005. A 30 x 60 foot barge and a tending craft will be working in the entrance. Mariners are requested to navigate with caution and transit with no wake.

The Salt Ponds Inlet at Hampton, Virginia has been reported to have shoaling that restricts the channel to less than 40 feet in width and 5 feet MLW in depth. Mariners are requested to navigate with caution.

Hurricane Ophelia Damage:
The USCG 5th District LNM 38 dated September 20, 2005
warns that damage from Hurricane Ophelia has occurred on the waterways from Albemarle Sound, North Carolina to Little River, South Carolina. Mariners should be aware that aids to navigation in these areas may have been damaged or destroyed. Lighted and unlighted buoys may have been moved from charted position, damaged, sunk, extinguished, or otherwise made inoperative. Mariners should not rely completely upon the position or operation of an aid to navigation, but should also employ other methods of determining position as may be available. Wrecks and submerged obstructions may have been moved from charted locations. Inlets may have shoaled over or the channels shifted. Mariners should exercise caution and report aid to navigation discrepancies and hazards to navigation to the nearest Coast Guard unit.

If you care to read LNMs, on the 5th District LNM 38, take a look at the long list of “Discrepancies (Federal Aids)” that start with LNM 38/05. This will give you an idea of the extent of damage. And the long list of “Discrepancies Corrected” that both start and end with LNM 38/05 will show you how much the Coast Guard has accomplished already. If you plan to travel through NC and SC, get the latest information, especially on the status of inlets. The lists are too long to repeat here.

The damage from Hurricane Katrina was obviously much more extensive, but that is not part of our geographical coverage in East Coast Alerts.

Pamlico Sound, NC (NOT on the ICW):
Many larger and faster boats take an alternate route through the Pamlico Sound in NC rather than the ICW. This route allows passage inside Cape Hatteras, but without the frequent slowing down for other boats and slow speed areas. Some boats come from offshore, entering through Oregon Inlet (see below) and then continue inside the sound down to the Neuse River and on to Beaufort. Some just enter the Pamlico via the eastern end of Albemarle Sound.

The USCG 5th District LNMs 36, 37 and 38 warn of a 40 foot fishing trawler that has sunk in position 35-14-12.24N, 076-07-32.16W in the vicinity of Lower Middle Ground Light in Pamlico Sound. The wreckage is said to be visible at high water and is obstructed by fishing gear and wire cables. This position is very close to the west side of the route down the sound, especially when favoring that side on the way into the Neuse River. Hurricane Ophelia could have altered this position and appearance.
As a reminder, in light of the increased transient usage this area gets in the fall, and the fact that Ophelia has passed through: USCG LNM #34, 35 and 36 (Not mentioned in #37 or 38) announced that severe shoaling exists at the bar of the Oregon Inlet Channel and that a temporary alternate channel has been established over the bar. This channel and the markers were not on the list of Discrepancies or Discrepancies Corrected on the 5th District LNM 38. Get local knowledge before planning to use this inlet.

St Augustine Inlet and St Lucie River Crossroads, FL Dredging Begins:
Dredging has commenced in St Augustine Inlet on a continuous basis seven (7) days per week and twenty-four (24) hours per day until October 15, 2005 or completion. Yellow construction lights will be utilized as needed to marks buoys, pipelines, etc. The dredge will monitor VFH Channels 13 and 16 with working channel being 18A. All mariners are advised to use extreme caution while transiting this area.

Maintenance dredging has also commenced in the Intracoastal Waterway at the Crossroads, St Lucie River, Martin County, Florida, until approximately November 15, 2005 or completion. This project will be on a continuous basis seven (7) days per week and twenty-four (24) hours per day. Yellow construction lights will be utilized as needed to mark buoys, pipelines, etc. The hydraulic dredge MR O will monitor VFH Channels 13 and 16 with working channel being 18A. All mariners are advised to use extreme caution while transiting this area.

This information is not to be used for navigation. Consult the latest charts and Local Notices to Mariners and use prudent seamanship. Any person or entity that uses this information in any way, as a condition of that use, agrees to waive and does waive any and all claims which may arise from that use.

Copyright 2004-2005 Tom Neale