East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale

More Bridge Delays in the Atlantic ICW:
        Beaufort, SC: The LadysIslandSwingBridge at Mile 536 has a broken gearbox and is under repair. There are only two openings per day, at 10:00 a.m. and at 2:00 p.m. Repairs are expected to take about a week. This information is from the bridge tender and various other sources.
         North Myrtle Beach, SC: The following information is paraphrased from the USCG 7th District LNM 47, Bridge Enclosure: Construction continues at the North Myrtle Beach Connector Bridge at Mile 348.3, (that’s just south of the Little River Swing Bridge, and at the northern end of the Rock Pile). There will be work on girder placement until January 30, 2009. During this phase of construction, there will be restrictions, closures and obstructions to the channel. Prior to the restriction, closure or obstruction, the Coast Guard will make an announcement on VHF Channel 22, they say. The tug Chickasawwill will monitor VHF Channel 16 and 13 for passing instructions. Four 48 hour periods of channel obstruction are tentatively planned for December 3-5, December 10-12, and December 17-19, 2008 and January 7-9, 2009. The notice gave the following phone number for contact at Coast Guard Station Charleston: 843 724 7616. When I called, they didn’t know anything about it.
        Southport, NC: 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 47. See October 16 East Coast Alerts for details on times of closure.

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

Sunken Fishing Vessels Create Hazard for other Fishing Vessels:
        From the USCG 1st District LNM 47:
        A 71 foot fishing vessel sank 101 nautical miles east of Chatham, MA in approximate position 41-41.3N 067-40.0W in 98 feet of water. (MA)
        A 41 foot fishing vessel sank 2.7 nautical miles east of Old Harbor, Block Island in approximate position 41-10.9N 071-30.2W in 121 feet of water. (RI)
Fishing vessels dragging gear in this area are advised to keep well clear of this position.

Lighthouse Christmas Lights:
            The 1st District LNM 47 reports that  Montauk Lighthouse (New York)will be decorated with holiday lights from November 29 through January 6, 2009. There will be vertical strings of white lights from the dome top down the west side (landward side) and a wreath of lights on the west (landward side). There will be no lights on the east (seaward side) of the tower and no lights will interfere with the functioning of the VEGA optic. The lights will be displayed during evening hours only.

Dredging in New Haven:
        Dredging is being done until 15 December, 2008 in (PA) 41-17'4"N 072-54'32"W. The hours of operation are 24 hours a day. On scene are a dredge barge, tugs and scows that are monitoring VHF-FM channel 13. (From the 1st District LNM 47)

Right Whale Ship Strike Reduction Rule:
        NOAA Fisheries has just released a Compliance Guide for the Right Whale Ship Strike Reduction Rule
<http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/pdfs/shipstrike/compliance_guide.pdf> , which summarizes the details of the rule and can be kept on the bridge for quick reference. The rule implements speed restrictions of 10 knots or less in areas and seasons along the US East Coast where right whales are known to occur. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on Oct. 10, 2008, and will come into effect on December 9, 2008. The compliance guide, along with the Federal Register notice and background documentation, is available at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/shipstrike (5th District LNM 47). The 5th District LNM 48 contains the final rule as well as a printable version of the two page compliance guide.

Chincoteague Inlet, VA, Shoaling:
        Shoaling has been reported between Chincoteague Inlet Buoy 9 and Chincoteague Inlet Buoy 10A. Mariners are advised to use caution when transiting the area (5th District LNM 48).

C&D Canal Dredging:
        5th District LNM 48: 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.

Thimble Shoals Light to go Silent:
        From the 5th District LNM 48: The U.S. Coast Guard proposes discontinuing the sound signal on Thimble Shoal Light. Comments to this proposal should be submitted prior to 31 December, 2008 to Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District (dpw), 431 Crawford Street, Portsmouth Virginia (23704), Attn: Mr. Al Grimes.

Construction on Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel:
        SKANSKA, INC. will be conducting construction operations on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and has established 4 lighted mooring buoys showing flashing white lights in approximate position 36-59-40N, 076-07-48W. Mariners should exercise caution when transiting the area (5th District LNM 48).

Norfolk, VA RR Bridges to Close for Repairs:
        From the 5th District LNM 48, Bridge Enclosure: Elizabeth River – (AIWW) – Norfolk Southern #7 RR (lift) Bridge – Closed-to-navigation from 0630 to 1730 on 28 NOV 08, to facilitate electrical 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 48: 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.

Adams Creek, Cedar Creek Anchorage, NC, ICW Mile 187.5:
            There has been a sunken sailboat in this popular anchorage for a number of years. In the spring when we passed, the mast was still visible. This fall it is not. The good news is that someone has temporarily marked the area with three white PVC pipes, a white float and a large orange ball.

Wrightsville Beach Bridge to Close:        
        Broadcast Notice, 5th District Bridge Branch: Mariners are advised the S.R. 74 at AICW mile 283.1 at Wrightsville Beach NC, will be closed to navigation from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, November 29, 2008, to facilitate the annual Wrightsville Beach Annual Holiday Flotilla. The available vertical clearance in the closed position to vessels is approximately 20 feet, at MHW.  To avoid delays, mariners should adjust their schedule accordingly.  
Dredging in NC ICW:
        From the 5th District LNM 48: 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 48 reminds us 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.

No Radar During Shuttle Landing:
        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 48:           
            Port Orange A1A Bridge (Mile 835.5): Vertical clearance will be reduced by 3 feet across one half of the channel due to painting. Dates: December 3, 2008-March 30, 2009.
            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, 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.

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.