East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale

Dismal Swamp Canal (Atlantic ICW, Route 2) Temporarily Closed:
            From a USACE Norfolk Public Notice: Due to storm damage on January 7, the Dismal Swamp Route of the Atlantic ICW will be closed until Friday, January 16, 2009. Information is available from the USACE at 757 201 7500, select Option 3, or by calling the Dismal SwampCanalWelcomeCenter at 877 771 8333, or the Deep Creek Lock tender at 757 487 0831. Thos planning to use that route on or around January 16 should check for updated information.*

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

ICW to Close at Fantasy Harbour Bridge, Myrtle Beach SC, Mile 367:
            The following (in plain text) is text from the USCG 7th District LNM 01 (for 2009) regarding this construction. The bridge in question is actually in Myrtle Beach rather than North Myrtle Beach, SC. Check for local information if this is relevant to your travels, as there is has been some confusion as to the ICW closure dates: South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has advised Coast Guard Sector Charleston that their contractor will be constructing a bridge over the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The construction will require a barge and tender to obstruct the navigational channel. The staging area will be set on 19 December 2008, the waterway will not be affected and all barges will be lighted with 360 degrees white lights. The following dates the waterway will be restricted due to the construction for periods up to twenty-four (24) hours are as follows: 13 January 2009, 16 January 2009, and 29 January 2009. All mariners transiting in the area should proceed with caution. If there are any concerns mariners should contact Coast Guard Sector Charleston’s twenty-four (24) hour Watch Center on VHF-FM Channel 16 or (843) 724-7616 (comm.). For specific questions about the contractors’ schedule please contact Mr. Travis Patrick of the SCDOT at (843) 431-1135 or for questions regarding Coast Guard matters please contact Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) Hunter Crider at (843) 724-7647.

Bahamas Report:
            BahamasExplorer reported on December 29, 2008 that there are no longer any buoys marking the entrance to Alice Town at North Bimini, and that the Bimini Big Game Club is closed until further notice.

Presidential Inauguration Security Zone:
            From the USCG 5th District LNM 01:  Mariners are advised that the Coast Guard is establishing a temporary security zone upon the waters of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers during activities associated with the 2009 Presidential Inauguration from January 14, 2009 through January 25, 2009. The security zone includes all waters of the Potomac River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded on the north by the Francis Scott Key (U.S. Route 29) Bridge, downstream to and bounded on the south from a position at latitude 38°46’42”N, longitude 077°02’55”W on the Virginia shoreline to a position at latitude 38°46’42”N, longitude 077°01’33”W on the Maryland shoreline, including the waters of the Georgetown Channel Tidal Basin; and (2) all waters of the Anacostia River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded on the north by the New York Avenue (U.S. Route 50) Bridge, downstream to and bounded on the south by its confluence with the Potomac River. The zone will be enforced from 4 a.m. on January 14, 2009, through 10 p.m. on January 25, 2009. Entry into or remaining in this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) Baltimore, Maryland. Vessels already at berth, mooring, or anchor at the time the security zone is implemented do not have to depart the security zone. All vessels underway within this security zone at the time it is implemented are to depart the zone. The COTP Baltimore may, in his discretion, grant waivers or exemptions to this rule, either on a case-by-case basis or categorically to a particular class of vessel that otherwise is subject to adequate control measures. Persons desiring to transit the area of the security zone must first obtain authorization from the COTP Baltimore or his designated representative. To seek permission to transit the area, the COTP Baltimore and his designated representatives can be contacted at telephone number 410-576-2693 or on Marine Band Radio, VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). The Coast Guard vessels enforcing this section can be contacted on Marine Band Radio, VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). Upon being hailed by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel, or other Federal, State, or local agency vessel, by siren, radio, flashing light, or other means, the operator of a vessel shall proceed as directed. If permission is granted, all persons and vessels must comply with the instructions of the COTP Baltimore or his designated representative and proceed at the minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course while within the zone. The U.S. Coast Guard may be assisted in the patrol and enforcement of the zone by Federal, State, and local agencies. Please note that in the interest of balancing safety, security, commerce, and public liberties, current plans are to allow limited vessel movement within the security zone. The limitations on how both recreational and commercial operators will be allowed to operate within the security zone will primarily depend upon the Presidential Inaugural events scheduled for each specific day that the zone is in effect, and the classification of the vessel requesting to operate. Vessel operators should understand that the COTP Baltimore has the authority to change the enforcement of the planned security zone at any time during the period of January 14, 2009 - January 25, 2009. This authority includes the termination of voyages, control of vessel movement, vessel operating restrictions, and partial or full closures of the waterway. All commercial vessels planning to transit within the security zone must fill out and submit a COAST GUARD SECTOR BALTIMORE INAUGURATION SAIL PLAN WORKSHEET, available from Lieutenant Matt Layman, Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, at telephone 410-576-2656 or e-mail  matthew.d.layman@uscg.mil as soon as possible. No commercial sail plans will be accepted after January 6, 2009.

General Announcements:
From the latest LNMs:

  1. NOAA’s National Ocean Service is evaluating specific features on nautical charts for their importance to marine navigation. The goal is to improve clarity and ease of use. To achieve this, NOAA’s National Ocean Service is proposing the removal of:
  2. • Tide tables
    • Tables of small craft facilities
    Both of these tables will be removed from the following charts:
    11302 11303 11306 11308 11314 11315 11319 11322 11326 11331
    11347 11348 11350 11354 11355 11365 11367 11370 11372 11374
    11378 11385 11390 11393 11402 11404 11411 11425 11427 11428
    11430 11432 11433 11446 11449 11451 11453 11464 11465 11467
    11472 11485 11489 11491 11507 11514 11515 11518 11534 11541
    11553 12205 12206 12237 12285 12316 12324 12352 12364 12372
    13229 13274 18423 18445 18447 18545 18546 18547 18548 18652
    18661 18662 18687
    Tidal information will continue to be available at http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov

  3. NOAA’s National Ocean Service is evaluating specific features on nautical charts for their importance to marine navigation. The goal is to improve clarity and ease of use. To achieve this, NOAA’s National Ocean Service is proposing the removal of State Plane grid intersection tick marks from all nautical charts. The State Plane coordinate system was established by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1933 to provide a common reference system for surveyors and cartographers.  State plane ticks marks are not necessary for marine navigation. This change is expected to affect new chart editions commencing in 2009.

These proposed changes will be advertised on The Office of Coast Survey website under “Latest News” http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov . Comments about these changes may be sent to NOAA through the form at http://ocsdata.ncd.noaa.gov/idrs/inquiry.aspx before February 20, 2009.

The Coast Guard seeks comment on its proposed rulemaking (73 FR 78295), that clarifies existing Automatic Identification System (AIS) requirements (33 CFR 164.46) and expands AIS carriage beyond Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) areas, to all U.S. navigable waters; and, adds additional vessels to the requirement: commercial vessels carrying 50 or more passengers, fishing vessels 65 feet or greater, hi-speed passenger vessels, dredges and floating plants operating in or near channels or fairways, and vessels carrying or moving certain dangerous cargo. We invite you to visit www.regulations.gov [Docket: USCG-2005-21869] to comment on our proposal and its significant changes to the current AIS requirements. For additional information on AIS and this rulemaking visit www.navcen.uscg.gov .

On April 29, 2008, the Coast Guard published in the Federal Register Vol. 73, no.83, the final rule that amended 33 Code of Federal Regulations(CFR) Part 169 to implement LRIT requirements in the United States. This rule requires, consistent with international law, certain ships to report identifying and position data electronically and became effective on May 29, 2008. Additionally, it implements an amendment to Chapter V of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), Regulation 19-1. Additionally, the U.S. Coast Guard will operate the U.S. National Data Center (NDC), located in Martinsburg, West Virginia, which will become operational on December 31, 2008. The U.S. NDC will be responsible for the collection, dissemination and management of all LRIT data submitted by U.S. flagged vessels subject to the LRIT regulations. In addition, the U.S. NDC will collect foreign flagged vessel LRIT information from other data centers based on LRIT entitlements. Furthermore, the U.S. has agreed to operate the International Data Exchange (IDE) on an interim basis from December 31, 2008 until December 31, 2011. During this interim period, the IDE will also be operated by the U.S. Coast Guard in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Beginning January 1, 2009, the U.S. Coast Guard will examine foreign and U.S. flagged vessels subject to the LRIT regulations to determine status of compliance. U.S. flagged vessel operators subject to the regulations may view information on how to comply by following the Domestic Vessels links on the
USCG Homeport website at; http://homeport.uscg.mil . All U.S. flagged vessel operators subject to the LRIT Regulation are encouraged to visit http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/lrit/default.htm to review the latest information regarding LRIT implementation and conformance test scheduling.

Boston Inner Harbor Special Anchorage Established:
           From the 1st District LNM 53: The Coast Guard hereby amends the Boston Inner Harbor Special Anchorage Area ``A'' at the entrance to Fort Point Channel in Boston Harbor, Boston, MA at the request of the Boston Harbormaster and the Boston Harbor Yacht Club. This action will provide additional anchorage space and provide a safe and secure anchorage for vessels of not more than 65 feet in length.

New York/New Jersey Waterway Analysis:
           If your boating takes place in this congested area, you may want to comment to the Coast Guard regarding the following: The Coast Guard is conducting a Waterway Analysis and Management System (WAMS) review of New York Upper Bay to include the Bay Ridge Channel, Buttermilk Channel, New Jersey Pierhead Channel, Bayonne Terminal Channel, Claremont Terminal Channel, and National Dock Channel. Mariners and other concerned parties are invited to comment on the aids to navigation in these waterways. Any comments or recommended changes to aids to navigation in these waterways should be received no later than 15 February 2009 to be considered. Send comments to: Commanding Officer, USCGC JUNIPER (WLB-201) NAVSTA Pier 2 Newport, RI 02841, ATTN: ENS Beau Belanger (401)841-6953, email Beau.C.Belanger@uscg.mil.

Shoaling in Barnegat Bay, NJ:
           The 5th District LNM 01 0f 2009 advises that a shoaling area consisting of crushed clam shells has been reported near Goodluck Point in Barnegat Bay at approximate position 39-55.500N, 074-06.109W. Mariners are advised to use extreme caution when transiting the area.

Delaware Bay Anchorage Fouled:
                      Also from the 5th District LNM 01: A 2” towing cable has been reported fouling the Mantua Creek Anchorage at approximate position 39-52.157N, 075-12.497W. Mariners are advised to use extreme caution when transiting the area until salvage operations are completed.

Bridge Closure, VA (Not on the ICW):
           From the 5th District LNM 01: Milford Haven – Gwynn’s Island (swing) Bridge – Closed-to-navigation until 1800 on 24 JAN 09 for needed structural repairs.

Upper James River, VA, Dredging:
           Most transient boaters would not venture this far up this river, but some local boaters might like to know that the USCG 5th District LNM 01 reports that the Dredge LEXINGTON will be conducting dredging operations in the James River in the vicinity of the Richmond Deepwater Terminal from 29 December, 2008 through 25 January, 2009. The dredge will monitor VHF-FM Ch 13 and 16. And that the Dredge JEKYLL ISLAND will be conducting dredging operations in the James River in the vicinity of the Honeywell Chemical Plant at City Point, Hopewell, Va. from 05 January through 05 February, 2009. The dredge will monitor VHF-FM Ch 13 and 16 and all traffic is requested to contact the dredge 30 minutes prior to expected time of passage.

Shoaling, Lower James River, VA:
           Also from the 5th District LNM 01: The Coast Guard has received a report of shoaling to an approximate depth of 11 feet at the Newport News Middle Ground – Fairway for Shallow Draft Vessels and Tows in the vicinity of 36-57.11N, 076-23.47W. Mariners should exercise caution when transiting the area.

Dredging in Hatteras Inlet (Not on the ICW):
           The 5th District LNM 01 reports that the Dredge MARION will be conducting dredging operations in Hatteras Inlet in the vicinity of Hatteras Inlet Lighted Buoy 13 and Hatteras Inlet Channel Light 25 from 02 January through 31 January, 2009. The dredge will monitor VHF-FM Ch 13 and 16 and all traffic is requested to contact the dredge 30 minutes prior to expected time of passage.

Shoaling in Bogue Inlet, NC, (Not on the ICW):
           This is one of several coastal inlets in North Carolina used extensively by local and commercial interests. The USACE dredges it when funds allow. There is also a small Coast Guard Station here. The reported depth is dangerously shallow for the boaters who rely on using this inlet. The 5th District LNM 01 reports that shoaling to a depth of 01.0 foot MLW has been reported in the vicinity of Bogue Inlet Buoy 8. The shoal extends approximately 30 feet into the channel in the direction of Bogue Inlet Buoy 6. Mariners are advised to avoid transiting this waterway during periods of low water and exercise caution during other tidal periods.

Submerged Dredge Pipes Cross ICW:
           Mariners are advised that two (02) submerged dredge pipelines crossing the AIWW have been temporarily established. One crossing at New River Cape Fear River Light 100 and at New River Cape Fear River Buoy 99A. Both crossings are marked by signs on pilings at each end of the underwater crossings. These pipelines will remain until 30 March, 2009. Mariners are advised to use caution when transiting the area. (From District 5 LNM 01)

DGPS Key West Unusable Time:
           From the USCG 7th District LNM 01: DGPS Site Key West, Florida has been granted off air, unusable time for RSIM Recap (CRIA) install.
Unusable time authorized for the following date/time:
Primary: 1400Z, 11 January 2009 - 0200Z, 12 January 2009, (0900-2100 Local)
Alternate: 1400Z, 12 January 2009 - 0200Z, 13 January 2009, (0900-2100 Local)

Florida Bridge Update: From the USCG 7th District LNM 01:           
            Sisters Creek Bridge, Mile 739.2: This bridge will be under repair until April 10, 2009. Between January 12 and April 10, 2009, one half of the channel will be blocked by a barge working on fender replacement on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of each week, between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
            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.
           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.
           Hillsborough River, Tampa: All mariners be advised that a barge will be partially obstructing the channel under the I-275 bridge on the Hillsborough River starting on December 8, 2008, until January 18, 2009, for painting operations. Any vessels requiring the full width of the channel may contact the PCL tug on VHF-FM Channel 13. All mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area.

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.