East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale

Italicized text indicates our comment. Plain text is copied from the Notices to Mariners or other sources given. 

Manatee News:

We just read that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission unanimously voted on June 7, 2006 to remove the manatee from the “endangered species” list. Manatee are now reclassified as a “threatened species” in Florida.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is also reported to be reevaluating the federal designation of the manatee in the Endangered Species Act

Long Island Sound , NY and CT Reminder:

Cruisers heading upthe East Coast for the first time this summer should become familiar with regulations for Long Island Sound:

The following restrictions apply to ALL VESSELS operating within the COTP Long Island Sound Zone, including all recreational vessels. These restrictions are located at 33 Code of Federal Regulations, section 165.153. Violation of these regulations subject the vessel operator to civil and criminal penalties:

Bridges: Any vessel operating beneath a bridge must make a direct, immediate and expeditious passage beneath the bridge while remaining within the navigable channel. No vessel may stop, moor, anchor or loiter beneath a bridge at any time. No vessel may approach within a 25-yard radius of any bridge foundation, support, stanchion, pier or abutment except as required for the direct, immediate and expeditious transit beneath a bridge.

Commercial Vessels: No vessel may enter within a 100-yard radius of any vessel engaged in commercial service while that vessel is transiting, moored, or berthed in any portion of the Long Island Sound Marine Inspection and COTP zone, without the express prior authorization of the vessel's licensed operator, master, COTP, or the designated on scene representative.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) encourages the maritime public to report information concerning suspicious activity to their local Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) Office, http://www.fbi.gov/contact/fo/fo.htm , or to other appropriate authorities. Individuals can contact the DHS Watch and Warning Unit at (202) 323-3205, toll free at 1-888-585-9078, or by e-mail to nipc.watch@fbi.gov. The U.S. Coast Guard reminds the maritime industry that they may also report information concerning suspicious activity to the National Response Center (NRC) at 1-800-424-8802.

Ocean City , MD Safety Zone:

If you’re cruising or fishing offshore of Ocean City next week, you may want to know that the Coast Guard will establish a temporary safety zone in support of a small arms gunnery exercise approximately 9 nautical miles south southeast of Ocean City, MD. This safety zone will be in effect daily between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. from June 19 until June 21, 2006 and includes all waters within 4 nautical miles of position 38-13.0N / 074-58.0W. No person may enter this zone or remain within the safety zone without the prior consent of the Captain of the Port (COTP) or his representative. Those person(s) given permission to enter the safety zone must comply with all directions given to them by the COTP or his representative. For further information on this safety zone refer to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 91 / Thursday, May 11, 2006 / Proposed Rules).

Another Reminder that the Summer Boating Season Has Begun:

From USCG 5th District LNM 23:

The U.S. Coast Guard is reminding mariners of the importance of maintaining a proper lookout. Rule 5 of the INLAND AND INTERNATIONAL NAVIGATION RULES requires that all vessels maintain a proper lookout at all times by sight and hearing, as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions, so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision. Action taken to avoid a collision shall be positive, made in ample time and with due regard to the observance of good seamanship. When a risk of collision exists, all vessels, regardless of whether they are the stand-on vessel or the give-way vessel, must take prompt action to avoid a collision. When in doubt about whether a risk of collision exists, mariners should assume there is risk of collision and act accordingly.

Northern Chesapeake Bay Cruisers--LOOK OUT!

USCG 5 th District LNM 23: Mariners are advised that the Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) will conduct operational testing of their armored, amphibious Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV), scheduled to begin on or about June 12, 2006. Each test consists of one hour of actual high-speed on-water operation, with plans to conduct two 1-hour missions over a period of two work days, held once every two-to-three weeks, from June 2006 through September 2006. The operation area includes: entering the water near Locust Point at Spesutie Island, proceeding towards Turkey Point, then south to an area just north of Pooles Island (transiting to the inside edge of the navigation channel), then returning to the Locust Point area. The EFV will be accompanied by maintenance support boats to provide escort and towing service, if necessary. An APG Department of Natural Resources (DNR) boat will provide support for the test vehicle and will assist as necessary. The EFV will be operating at approximately 28 knots. Testing activity would be curtailed and the area cleared to accommodate any shipping traffic. Interested mariners may contact the on-site test personnel at 410-320-8683, or the ATC's B Tower Operator at (410) 278-2250/3971 or on marine band radio Channel 68 VHF (call sign "800"), or the DNR boat on marine band radio Channel 68 VHF.

Shoaling in the Chesapeake:

USCG 5 th District LNM 23 and 24: There has been a report of shoaling to depth of 2 feet MLW in the vicinity of Kent Island Narrows North Approach Light 4 extending to the middle of the channel. Mariners are advised to navigate with caution and slow speed.

This is a widely used but tricky entrance channel that is in need of frequent maintenance dredging.

Salt Ponds, Chesapeake Bay, Hampton, VA, Update:

USCG 5 th District LNM 24 notes that the following Private aids to navigation have been relocated:

Salt Ponds Daybeacon 5 (LLNR 12865) to position 37-03-45.600N, 076-16-51.000W

Salt Ponds Daybeacon 9 (LLNR 12865) to position 37-03-47.400N, 076-16-58.800W

The dredging will be conducted at the entrance to Salt Ponds from 21 June until 25 August, 2006. The dredge can be contacted on VHF-FM channels 13 and 16.

Dredging in Southern Chesapeake Bay:

The same LNM states that the Dredge PADRE ISLAND, will be conducting dredging operations in Thimble Shoal Channel from 12 June until 15 August, 2006. Dredge spoil will be transported to the Dam Neck Placement site. The dredge can be contacted on VHF-FM channels 13 and 16.

New Safety Zone in Lower Chesapeake Bay:

USCG 5 th District LNM 23 reports that the US Coast Guard is establishing a safety zone in the vicinity of Fort Story, VA on the Chesapeake Bay. This safety zone will encompass all waters bound by the following coordinates: 36-55-33N, 076-02-47W; 36-56-38N, 076-04-00W; 36-57-12N, 076-04-00W; 36-56-33N, 076-01-34W and 36-56-22N, 076-01-33W. This safety zone will be in effect 24 hrs/day, seven days/week from 12:01 a.m., July 5 to 11:59 p.m., July 26, 2006. All mariners are restricted from entering this safety zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, Hampton Roads or his representative. Operators in the vicinity of this zone shall stop immediately and proceed as directed by the Captain of the Port or his representative.

North Carolina Dredging:

If you’re heading for the Pamlico Sound area of NC, be aware that the Dredge MARION, will be conducting dredging operations in the vicinity of Wanchese Channel and Roanoke Sound from 15 June until 31 July, 2006. The dredge can be contacted on VHF-FM channels 13 and 16.

More ICW Shoaling:

USCG 7th District LNM 23 notes that shoaling has been observed in the middle of the channel, South of Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff Light 184 extending completely across the channel starting in approximate position 32-30.649N/080-30.175W to approximate position 32-30.686N/080-30.127W. Reported depth of 5.5 feet of water at low tide. Chart 11517 shows project depths for ICW as 12 feet.

We have recently passed through here. This depth figure is optimistic.

Indian River , FL Hazard to Navigation:

USCG 7 th district LNM 24 warns that the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has been advised that a two pile waterway marker is split with sign lying in water and in the same vicinity of a submerged pipe located within the Indian River west of the Intracoastal Waterway near Cape Malabar in Brevard County. The objects located within 2-3- water depth could pose a hazard to navigation. Mariners are advised to use extreme caution when operating within this vicinity. The coordinates are N 28-01-11.160N 080 33-38.580W and N 28 01-11.100N 080 33-39.900W. The split pilings are exposed but the pipe may only be seen at low tide. FWC is working with local contractor to remove these objects.

This is north of the popular Spoil Island anchorages and Grants Farm.

St. Lucie Lock, Mile 15, Okeechobee Waterway, FL Closure:

A Navigation Advisory from the USACE Jacksonville advises that the navigation lock at St. Lucie will be closed to traffic at 0600 on 19 June 2006 and reopen to traffic at 0600 on 25 June 2006.

You can check current conditions at www.saj.usace.army.mil and select WATER MANAGEMENT then select NAVIGATION BULLETINS AND LOCK CLOSURE INFORMATION, or call 863-983-8101 for information.

Florida Bridge Restriction:

USCG 7 th District LNM 23 states that a snooper truck will be working on the Sheridan Street Bridge, Intracoastal Waterway mile 1070.5, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily, June 7 and 8, 2006. Due to repairs, the bridge will only open once an hour on the top of the hour.

This information is not to be used for navigation. Consult the latest charts and Local Notices to Mariners and use prudent seamanship. Conditions may change. 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 or be related to that use.

Copyright 2004-2005 Tom Neale