East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale

BB McCormick Bridge, JAX Beach, Channel Closures:
           The following is paraphrased from a USCG Jacksonville MSIB: The channel at the BB McCormick Bridge at Mile 747.5 will be closed for removal of the old bridge beginning on January 19 and ending on January 21, 2009, 12:00 p.m. till 12:00 a.m.; and beginning on January 21 and ending on February 6, 2009, Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., with limited openings between 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. or for declared emergencies.*

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

Shoaling at Fernandina Beach, FL, Update:
            The following is copied from the text from the 7th District LNM 02, published on January 13, 2009: Shoaling has been reported in the middle of the channel in the vicinity of Fernandina Beach Buoy 1 (LLNR 37985). Fernandina Beach Temp Buoy 1A (LLNR N/A) has been disestablish due to unmarkable shoaling in the middle of the channel. Water depth reported as less than six (6) feet at high tide. For further update and information please contact BMC Robert Lehmann at (904) 241-8401.

            This didn’t make sense to me, so I called the number and talked to a Coast Guard spokesperson who had personally just made the trip to investigate this and she reported that the above is accurate. The shoal is in the middle of the channel and they are unable to mark it. They tried, but had to remove the marker because it caused too much confusion. Hopefully this situation will be remedied soon. This channel is used by commercial fishing boats and midsized freighters, as well as us normal boaters. The tidal range here is sometimes up to 8 feet, so this shoal may be exposed at low tide, if it is as shallow as reported. If you plan to go through here anytime soon, call the given number for an update            

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.