East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale

Slow for Right Whales:
            It’s that time of year again. Right Whales will be off the Georgia/North Florida coast as Snowbirds are making their way south. From the USCG 1st District LNM 45 (Bold type is by Editors): *
US - ATLANTIC SEACOAST - You are entering essential habitat for the critically endangered Right Whales. The critically endangered Right Whale, including females with very young calves, may be encountered in offshore and coastal waters. Right whales are slow moving and at risk of serious injury or death due to collisions with vessels. Vessel operators are reminded to use caution and proceed at safe speeds in areas used by right whales. Intentionally approaching within 500 yards of right whales is prohibited and is a violation of U.S. law. A minimum distance of 500 yards must be maintained from a sighted whale unless hazardous to the vessel or its occupants. NOAA recommends that operators assume that any whale sighted is a right whale. NOAA also recommends speeds of 10 knots or less in areas used by right whales when consistent with safety of navigation. Please report all right whale sightings and collisions to 978-585-8473 (Northeast), 305-862-2850 (Southeast), telex #48156090 or to the Coast Guard via channel 16. Vessels that report MSR arrivals via TELEX must use the new number effective immediately. (Note: The WHALESSOUTH MSR reporting area is only active from November 15 to April 16.) This change only affects those vessels that report by TELEX. The existing INMARSAT email address currently in use (rightwhale.msr@noaa.gov) remains active. For more information, consult the U.S. Coast Pilot.

*Italicized text above and below indicates our comment or paraphrase.  Plain text is copied from the Notices to Mariners or other sources given.

Bahamas Buoys Reported Of Station:
            We have received reports of buoys off-station at entrances to two Bahamian harbort.
            The dredged entrance channel into North Bimini has been marked with floating aids for several years. They were reported to be off-station on Nov. 11, 2008. It is reported that three of the floating aids would be replaced around November, 15.
            A boater reported that the entrance marker to Bell Channel at Port Lucaya appears to be off-station by about 100 yards.
            We are not able to verify these reports. If you are entering either of these ports, check for local knowledge (there are marinas inside both harbors), and remember that eyeball navigation in the Bahamas is still a necessity.

Jordan Bridge (ICW Mile 2.8) Closed for Cars, Open for Boats:
            As of November 8, 2008, the JordanBridge is closed for cars, and locked in the open navigational position.

More Delays for ICW Snowbirds:
            Mariners are advised to take caution and proceed slowly when approaching the construction site of a new highway bridge (Middleton Ave.) to Oak Island, over the AIWW, Mile 316.6 in Brunswick County, NC. Barges and a crane will be in the channel from 20 October until 31 December, 2008 causing mariners to be delayed up to 4 hours. This delay will be during daylight hours, two hours before and after high tide. There should be no delay at other times. This notice is from the USCG 5th District LNM 46. See October 16 East Coast Alerts for details on times of closure.

Dredging in Maine:
            The 1st District LNM 45 reports that  Prock Marine will be conducting dredging operations in Rockland Harbor in the vicinity of Lermond Cove. These Operations are scheduled to be conducted between November 17, 2008 and January 23, 2009. All mariners are requested to use caution while transiting through the area.

Boston Harbor, Mystic River Diving Ops:
            Also from the 1st District LNM 45: Diving operations will be conducted ivo the Boston generating plant to the Alford street bridge from 7 a.m. through 3:30 pm. beginning 03 November 2008 until further notice. Mariners are advised to use extreme caution and maintain minimum wake while transiting the area.

Nantucket Sound Dredging:
Dredging will be done in Nantucket Sound, 3000' offshore from the entrance to Bourne Pond, from 4 - 30 November 2008. On scene will be the dredge COD FISH, which will be monitoring VHF-FM channels 13, 16 & 18. The area will be marked with four buoys in the following positions:
41-32-35.59N 070-32-57.29W
41-32-31.08N 070-33-07.23W
41-32-35.47N 070-33-10.78W
41-32-39.98N 070-33-00.84W
The hours of operation will be 6:00 am - 6:00 pm.

Old Saybrook, CT Dredging
            From the USCG 1st District  LNM 45: Dredging is being done in North Cove until 31 May 2009. On scene is the Dredge SAMSON III, dump scows 742 & 743, mudcat SE103 and the tug CAMRONS POINT that are monitoring VHF-FM channels 13 & 16. The hours of operation is 7 days a week during daylight hours.

Ambrose Channel Buoy Gone:
            The following two announcements were in the 1st District LNM 45:
Ambrose Channel Temporary Lighted Whistle Buoy has been discontinued in (PA) 40-26-54.600N 073-47-47.830W.
Ambrose Channel Temporary Lighted Whistle Buoy has been permanently disestablished from position 40-26-54.044N 073-47-47.971W.

Barnegat Light Reestablished as Private Aid:
            The USCG 5th District LNM 45 announces that on or about 01 January, 2009, Barnegat Light will be reestablished as a Private Aid to Navigation showing a 1 Fl ev(ery) 10s characteristic with a nominal range of 22NMs. The light and lighthouse will be maintained by the Friends of Barnegat Light.

Spud Legs Adrift off South NJ Coast:
            From the 5th District LNM 46: The Coast Guard has received a report of submerged objects in the approximate position 38-55.18N, 074-35.66W. Three spud legs were lost by the R/V Robert E. Hays. Two sections were located at approximate positions 38-54.0922N, 074-35.802W and 38-54.092N, 074-35.802W and are marked with yellow buoys. Mariners are urged to use caution when transiting the area. Any questions regarding the submerged objects should be directed to the Coast Guard at (215) 271-4807.

Construction in Indian River Inlet, DE:
            From the 5the District LNM 46: Marine construction work is being conducted in the Indian River Inlet on the bulkhead at the U. S. Coast Guard Station Indian River Inlet. Work will run from on 05 November until 05 December, 2008. Mariners should use caution when transiting the area and transit at a NO WAKE speed.

C&D Canal Dredging:
            5th District LNM 46: The Hopper Dredge LIBERTY ISLAND will be dredging in the C &D Canal from 23 November until 15 December, 2008. The Spud Barge WEEKS 273 will be located 1 mile west of the Chesapeake City Bridge outside the south canal channel limit and will be the pump out site for transfer of material to the Chesapeake City Upland Disposal Site. The spud barge will be marked with flashing amber lights. While moored to the barge, the dredge will extend 30 feet inside the south canal channel limit. The survey vessel PEARL RIVER will be assisting. All vessels will monitor VHF-FM CHs 13 and 16. Mariners are cautioned to stay clear of dredge. Mariners are cautioned to strictly comply with the Inland Rules of the Road when approaching, passing and leaving the area of operations, and remain a safe distance away from the dredge, booster, buoys, cables, pipeline, barges, derricks, wires and related equipment. Dredging projects are usually conducted twenty-four (24) hours a day seven (7) days a week.

Baltimore Bridge Construction:
            From the 5th District LNM 46: Mariners are advised that mechanical repairs are in progress through September 2010 at the Pennington Ave. Bridge, across Curtis Creek at Mile 0.9 in Baltimore, MD. A work barge will operate in the navigable channel to facilitate repairs. Vessels requiring the full width of the 200 foot channel are requested to provide at least one hour advance notice by calling (443) 695-0492 or (410) 916-2833. Mariners should use caution when transiting the area. Chart: 12278.

Annapolis Area Bridge Work:
            Also from the 5th District LNM 46: Mariners are advised that sandblasting and painting operations will commence on or about November 14, 2006, at the US 50/301 Bridge, at mile 4.3, across Severn River in Annapolis, MD. To facilitate the work, scaffolding will occupy the navigable channel reducing the available vertical clearance to approx 77 feet, above mean high water. Also, barges will be used in the channel later in year. This operation is expected to be completed by December 2008. Mariners should use caution when transiting the area.

Fewer Lights on Nice Bridge:
            The 5th District LNM 46 reports that the U.S. Coast Guard has received a request from PB Americas, Inc., on behalf of the Maryland Transportation Authority to eliminate nonessential navigational lighting at the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (US 301), at mile 50.0, across Potomac River between Ludlow Ferry, MD, and Dahlgren, VA. This request is based on the following reasons: these pier lights are not required; they are ornamental in original design and placement; and are difficult and expensive to replace. All prescribed lighting shall be displayed and maintained in the main navigational channel. Comments on this proposal should be forwarded to the above address attention (dpb) no later than November 30, 2008. Copies of Public Notice 5-1127, which describe the request in detail, can be obtained by writing to the above address or by calling (757) 398-6629.

Construction--Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel:
SKANSKA INC. will be conducting construction operations on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel in the vicinity of the Second Island of the tunnel. Two yellow anchor buoys will be deployed in the vicinity. The construction crane derrick barge SKANSKA 15 may be in the navigational channel and can be contacted on VHF-FM CHANNEL 13. Mariners are requested to transit with caution and a slow speed and if necessary contact the barge prior to passing (5th District LNM 46).

Norfolk, VA RR Bridges to Close for Repairs:
From the USCG 5th DistrictBridge Branch:
           ICW RR Bridge to Close for New Year’s Eve and Day:
Mariners are advised that the Norfolk Southern #7 Railroad Bridge, at AIWW mile 5.8, across the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River in Chesapeake, VA will be closed to vessels beginning at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, December 31, 2008, until and including 5 a.m. on Friday, January 2, 2009, to facilitate structural repairs.  To avoid delays, mariners are advised to plan their trips accordingly.
          Norfolk RR Bridge (NOT on the ICW) to Close for 12 Days:
Mariners are advised that the Norfolk Southern (NS# V2.8) Bridge, at mile 2.7, across the Elizabeth River – Eastern Branch at Norfolk, VA, will be closed to vessels from 7 a.m. on Monday, on December 8, 2008, until and including 11 p.m. on Friday, December 19, 2008, to facilitate repairs to the operating machinery of the swing span.  At all other times, the drawbridge will operate in accordance with the operating drawbridge regulations set out in Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 117.1007(a).  Mariners should adjust their transits accordingly. 

Great Bridge Bridge to Close for Parade:
           From the USCG 5th District LNM 46: Mariners are advised that the S168 Lift Bridge (Great Bridge), at AIWW mile 12.0, across the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal, at Chesapeake VA, will be closed to vessels from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, December 6, 2008, to accommodate the Christmas Parade. To avoid delays, mariners are advised to plan their trips accordingly.

Oregon Inlet, NC Dredging Activities:
           The following three announcements were contained in the 5th District LNM 46. It was previously announced that there was shoaling in the vicinity of the BonnerBridge.
           The Dredge R.S. WEEKS will be conducting dredging operations in Oregon Inlet Channel east of the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge from 06 November until 31 December, 2008. A combination of floating and submerged pipelines will be used to transport the dredge material to Pea Island Beaches. The dredge will monitor VHF-FM channels 13 and 16 and should be contacted for passing agreements.
           The Coast Guard is establishing a SAFETY ZONE on the waters of Oregon Inlet from 07 November until 30 November, 2008. The regulation establishes a 100 yard moving safety zone on the waters of Oregon Inlet around the perimeter of the Dredge R.S. WEEKS during dredging operations. In addition, it establishes a 50 yard safety zone around the perimeter of the floating discharge line which leads from the dredge to the submerged shore connection. All vessel movement within the safety zone is prohibited except as specifically authorized by the captain of the port or representative. Mariners are reminded that the fender span of the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge is the only recommended route for passing under the bridge. Passing through any unfendered span presents a significant hazard to the vessel and the bridge. Alternate routes for any vessel wishing to transit through Oregon Inlet include traveling through Hatteras Inlet, Beaufort Inlet, or through the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
           The Dredges RICHMOND will be conducting dredging operations in Oregon Inlet Channel from Oregon Inlet Channel Buoy 38 (LLNR 28135) to the junction of Old House Channel and Walter Slough Channel at Oregon Inlet Channel Lighted Buoy 55 ( LLNR 28196) 01 November until 01 January, 2009. The dredge will monitor VHF-FM channels 13 and 16 and should be contacted for passing agreements.

More Shoaling in NC (NOT on the ICW):
           The 5th District LNM 46 also reports that shoaling has been observed in Hatteras Inlet between Hatteras Inlet Buoy 12 and Hatteras Inlet Buoy 13 to a depth of 3.0 feet MLW. Mariners are advised to transit this area with caution

New Bridge Construction, Washington, NC:
           The 5th District LNM 46 advises mariners that in-water work activities will start on December 1, 2008, for the construction of the new US 17/Washington Bypass Bridge, at mile 37.95, over Tar River between the cities of Chocowinity and Washington, in Beaufort County, NC. The proposed vertical clearance of the new bridge is 60 feet above mean high water. The proposed horizontal clearance is 45 feet on a skew between the margins of channel lights. The proposed bridge will be designed for vessel impact, a fender system will not be constructed as part of the project and navigational lighting will be provided. These activities are scheduled through March 2009. Mariners are advised to use caution when transiting the area.

Dredging in NC ICW:
           From the 5th District LNM 46: The Dredge CAPT LEO will be conducting dredging operations in the vicinity of the Ocean Isle Bridge, Ocean Isle Beach from 10 November until 15 April, 2009. The dredge will monitor VHF-FM channels 66A and 16 and should be contacted for passing agreements.

Dredging at Sunny Point, Cape Fear River, NC:
           The USCG 5th District LNM 46 announces that the Dredges ATLANTIC and VIRGINIAN will be conducting dredging operations in the Military Ocean Terminal, Sunny Point from 23 October, 2008 to 15 January, 2009. The dredges will monitor VHF-FM channels 13 and 16. Mariners are cautioned to stay clear of dredge, booster, floating (pontoon) and submerged pipelines, barges, derricks and operating wires associated with dredging and marine construction operations.

DGPS Savannah Off Air:
           From 7th District LNM 46: DGPS Site Savannah, Georgia has been granted off-air/unusable time for EC-03 (CRIA) installation. Unusable time authorized for the following date/times:
Primary: 1400Z November 14, 2008 until 0200Z November 15, 2008 (0900-2100 Local time)
Alternate: 1400Z November 15, 2008 until 0200Z November 16, 2008 (0900-2100 Local time)
For further information please contact the USCG NAVCEN DGPS East Operations Watch Officer at (703) 313-5902.

No Radar During Shuttle Launch:
           As usual, the 7th District Coast Guard reminds us that the National Aeronautical and Space Adminstration (NASA) has requested that all mariners unless authorized by NASA please refrain from RADAR tracking of the of the STS-126 launch and landing. STS-126 is scheduled for a nominal fifteen (15) day mission. The possible launch date is November 14, 2008, the possible landing date depending on the actual launch date is November 28, 2008. For further information please contact Ms. Cathy Sham at (281) 222-1117.

Florida Bridge Update: From the USCG 7th District LNM 44:           
           Bridge of Lions, St. Augustine (Mile 777.9):  Nighttime channel closures beneath the Bridge of Lions and adjacent temporary bridge are scheduled for November 13 and 14, 2008, from 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m.each night.
           NASA Railroad Bridge (Mile 876.6): This automated bridge is now open for vessel traffic.         
           Christine McAuliffe Bridge (Mile 1.0, Canaveral Barge Canal, FL): This bridge will experience up to 30 minute delays in openings between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. daily until November 26, 2008, due to repairs. There is a 21 ft. vertical clearance and boats may pass under if able to do so.
           Spanish Boulevard Bridge (Mile 1044.9, Boca Raton, FL): The Coast Guard is changing the regulations of this bridge due to repairs. This work will require single-leaf operations on the hour and half-hour with a three hour advance notice to the bridge tender (561 395 5417) for a double-leaf opening. The vertical clearance will be reduced by five feet due to the placement of containment equipment. Dates: 8:00 a.m. on June 15 through 6:00 p.m. on December 8, 2008. In case of emergencies the bridge will open as soon as practicable.
            Sunny Isles Bridge (Mile 1078):  Also known as the NE 163rd St. Bridge, will be on single leaf operation at quarter past and three quarters past the hour, Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., except federal holidays. Dates are Oct. 15, 2008 through March 27, 2009. Double leaf openings will be available with two hours notice. On Saturdays, Sundays and federal holidays, 10:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m., both leaves will open at quarter past and three quarters past the hour. Both leaves are available on request at all other times.
           Florida Keys, Old Bahia Honda Bridge: (MM 35-37) It has been reported to the Coast Guard that this bridge is rapidly deteriorating and many parts are hanging dangerously below the bridge. The channel at the east end of the bridge is the only clear safe passage. Caution is required. There is also reported in the area wood platforms and wooden debris which has broken free from their moorings.    From the USCG 7th District LNM 44: Coral Marine Construction in conjunction with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will be removing debris and steel pieces from the Old Bahia Honda Bridge between mile marker 35 and mile marker 37, commencing on November 9, 2008, this project will be completed in approximately fourteen (14) days on or about November 22, 2008. One (1) crane barge with tug MISS CAMI will be on scene and monitoring VHF Channel 13, work will conducted between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. seven (7) days per week. The project requires work to be conducted along both the ocean and bay sides of the Old Bahia Honda bridge beginning on the east end of the bridge and work toward the west. The staging area will be the Bahia Honda State Park. Mariners are requested to remain well clear of the barge at all times. For further information please contact Mr. George Steinmetz at (305) 797-5945 or Mr. Billy McMillen at (954) 214-9794.
           Florida Keys, Seven Mile Bridge: (Between Hog Key and Bahia Honda Key): Due to repairs, there is a 30-foot platform which hangs down 8 feet below the bridge. It is marked with flags and lights. The platform will be moved to different areas of the bridge during repairs until December 30, 2008.   
           Okeechobee Waterway, Mile 126.3:The Wilson Piggott Bridge will be under single leaf operation from August 18-Feb 28, 2008. A double leaf opening will require a 3 hour notice. The vertical clearance of the down span will be reduced by 5 feet. There will be one 8-hour closure to be announced.
GIWW, Mile 113, SR 679, Pinellas Bayway, Tierra Verde Bridge Replacement: The Coast Guard 7th District is seeking comments on the replacement for this bridge, a 65 ft. fixed bridge instead of the 21.5 vertical clearance opening bridge, to be built 10 feet east of the present bridge. The comment period runs till November 30. Comments should be addressed to Commander, 7th DistrictCoast Guard, 909 SE first Ave, Room 432, Miami, FL33131.
            GIWW, Mile 126, Park Boulevard Bridge: Single leaf operation till December 2, 2008. A double leaf opening requires a 4-hour notice. The vertical clearance of the down span will be reduced by 5 feet.

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 and also hold authors harmless from any and all claims which may arise from or be related to that use.