East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale

NC ICW Shoaling AGAIN:
            There have been many reports from other cruisers, and indeed we noticed these places getting worse again (even though recently dredged) on both our southbound fall trip and again on our northbound trip in the spring. We have observed this same cycle for years: shoaling occurs in certain ICW locations on a regular basis, spot dredging takes care of it for a year or so, the USACE does surveys and gives a zig-zag waypoint course with highest possible controlling depths (but not adequate for any large commercial traffic), the Coast Guard moves or adds markers, shoaling continues, Congress allocates a little money for spot dredging and the cycle begins over again. Let’s hope that the new stimulus money will be enough to get this job done right. We followed the markers in place in late April (and as shown on our charts), without benefit of the zig-zags. We found the shallow water, but the tide was up and we did not ground. Others have not been so fortunate.*

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


New York 400th Birthday Celebration (and Restrictions):
            New York will celebrate its 400th Birthday with a week-long River Day Flotilla following the route that Henry Hudson sailed up the Hudson River in his ship Half Moon. Dates for the flotilla are June 6-13, 2009, with a Blessing of the Fleet off Liberty Island on June 5. A fleet of traditional sailing ships will make up the flotilla as it travels up the river from the Statue of Liberty to Albany/Rensselaer.
            The Coast Guard is establishing a Moving 100-yard Safety Zone around the participants (including Clearwater, Onrust, Half Moon replica and several other traditional sailing ships) on the following days when they are in transit:

• Saturday, June 6th 9:00 am – 4:00 pm New York City to Tappan Area
• Sunday, June 7th 11:00 am – 6:00 pm Tappan Area to Newburg/Beacon
• Monday, June 8th   no transit
• Tuesday, June 9th 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm Newburg to Poughkeepsie
• Wednesday, June 10th 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm Poughkeepsie to Kingston
• Thursday, June 11th 11:00 am – 5:00 pm Kingston to Catskill/Athens/Hudson
• Friday, June 12th noon – 4:00 pm Catskill/Athens/Hudson to Castleton
• Saturday, June 13th 11:00 am – 12:30 pm Castleton to Rensselaer

A USCG Safety Notice attached to the 1st District LNM 20 is summarized below:

  1. No spectator vessel may come within 100 yards of the fleet.
    • All vessels should monitor VHF Channels 16 and 13
    • There is a NDZ (Federal No-Discharge Zone) from the Battery in Manhattan to the Federal Dam in Troy.
    • Keep clear of commercial traffic, especially tugs and tows.
    • Practice safe boating and follow the law.

Nav Aids Change in NE:
            The following changes were previously announced as being proposed, with public comment requested. Now they will be put into effect shortly:
            In conjunction with the revision to the Boston Approach Traffic Separation schedule to be completed on or about 1 June 2009, the following aids will be relocated shoreward approximately 1 NM to the west:
            RELOCATE Traffic Separation Scheme buoys
Boston Approach LB BA to (PA) 40-48.953N 069-00.635W
Boston Approach LB BB to (PA) 41-15.320N 069-18.313W
Boston Approach LB BC to (PA) 41-41.404N 069-35.963W
Boston Approach LB BD to (PA) 42-18.280N 070-01.140W
            RELOCATE Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Right Whale Detection Buoys:
AB-08 to (PA) 42-13.835N 069-58.052W
AB-09 to (PA) 42-09.388N 069-54.971W
AB-10 to (PA) 42-04.940N 069-51.898W
            The Coast Guard will be making the following changes to this waterway on or about 12 June 2009, weather and operations permitting:
DISESTABLISH Southeast Point Buoy 1
DISESTABLISH Block Island Old Harbor Point Buoy 3 (USCG First District LNM 20)

Sunken Vessel off MA Coast:
            Hazard to navigation-the Coast Guard has received a report of a submerged vessel in position 42-39.0N 070-34.946W in vicinity of Thatcher Island. All mariners transiting the area are advised to use caution. (USCG First District LNM 20)

NY State Boat Channel Shoaling:
            The Coast Guard has received a report of severe shoaling in the State Boat Channel (Suffolk County, Long Island NY) in the vicinity of State Boat Channel Buoys 87, 88 and 89. All mariners are requested transit the area with caution as unexpected shoaling may be present. (USCG First District LNM 20)
More East River Construction:
            Phoenix Marine Co. will be removing the southern portion of Pier 1 Brooklyn and installing steel sheeting and scour protection in the East River from on, or about, May 27, 2009 until further notice. Work hours are 6:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Two crane barges and two hopper barges will be on scene. Containment boom will be deployed in the work areas to prevent debris from entering the East River. One crane barge will be anchored with a four-point anchoring system attached to four buoys. All four mooring buoys will be illuminated at night with a Quick Flashing all around white light visible for at least three nautical miles. If any of these four lighted mooring buoys are extinguished the contractor will immediately dispatch a lighted small boat to maintain station by the mooring buoy until the buoy is relit. The initial positions of the mooring buoys will be the following approximate positions: 40° 42.101’N 073° 59.933’W; 40° 42.148’N 073° 59.876’W; 40° 42.110’N 073° 59.933’W; and 40° 42.126’N 073° 59.919’W, extending approximately 230 feet off the western face of Pier 1. During non working hours, the unmanned construction platform will remain on site. Upon completion of the initial phase of this project, Phoenix Marine will notify the Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Center 30 minutes prior to changing the mooring buoy locations. Mariners are advised to transit the area with caution and pass at no wake/minimum speed. For further information on construction operations, contact the 24-hr project supervisor at 347-672-5523 or 347-386-3909, or the Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Center on VHF-FM channel 14 or 718-354-4088. Charts of the work area are available at http://homeport.uscg.mil/newyork > Waterways Management > 01. Advisory Notices. (USCG First District LNM 20)

Underwater Pilings, Sandy Hook Bay:
            The Coast Guard has received a rpt of a 31ft pleasure craft named "JERSEY DAWN" that has run aground on some pilings in posn 40-27N 074-09.667W. All mariners are requested to transit the area with caution and report sightings to the US Coast Guard. (USCG First District LNM 20)

Baltimore Harbor, Lots of New Lights at Dredged Material Facility:
            McLean Contracting is establishing a turbidity fence south of the Ferry Bar Channel at the Masonville Dredged Material Containment Facility. The turbidity fence will be approximately 115 Ft. to 130 Ft. South of the toe of the Ferry Bar Channel. The turbidity fence will be held in place by Fiftyfive (55) single timber piles and each pile will have a four second (4s) flashing amber (yellow) light attached. The lights will be maintained to February 2010.
Ferry Bar Channel-Masonville Construction Area-Turbidity Fence Light:
-Light P 01, 39 14 57.892 – 076 35 34.763, Fl Y 4s
-Light P 04, 39 15 00.567 – 076 35 36.784, Fl Y 4s
-Light P 07, 39 15 03.535 – 076 35 36.916, Fl Y 4s
-Light P 13, 39 15 09.458 – 076 35 36.882, Fl Y 4s
-Light P 18, 39 15 13.191 – 076 35 35.461, Fl Y 4s
-Light P 20, 39 15 15.166 – 076 35 33.511, Fl Y 4s
-Light P 22, 39 15 15.728 – 076 35 31.084, Fl Y 4s
-Light P 26, 39 15 15.732 – 076 35 26.002, Fl Y 4s
-Light P 30, 39 15 15.715 – 076 35 20.916, Fl Y 4s
-Light P 36, 39 15 15.688 – 076 35 13.289, Fl Y 4s
-Light P 42, 39 15 15.501 – 076 35 05.677, Fl Y 4s
-Light P 45, 39 15 14.225 – 076 35 02.243, Fl Y 4s
-Light P 47, 39 15 13.295 – 076 34 59.999, Fl Y 4s
-Light P 51, 39 15 10.384 – 076 34 54.602, Fl Y 4s
-Light P 54, 39 15 08.520 – 076 34 51.636, Fl Y 4s
(USCG 5th District LNM 21)

Occoquan River, VA, Bridge Construction:   
            Mariners are advised that work will commence on or about July 1, 2009 and end July 1, 2010 for the widening of the northbound and southbound lanes of the I-95 Bridge, at mile 2.9, across Occoquan River between Prince William and Fairfax Counties, VA. The expansion will require a total of six additional piles to be placed on the right-of-ways providing an additional width of 16 feet 10 inches to the existing bridge and removal of fascia girder. The vertical and horizontal clearances of the bridge to vessels will be retained at 46 feet, above mean high water and 100 feet on a skewed channel between the margins of navigational lights, respectively. Mariners should exercise caution when transiting the area.
(USCG 5th District LNM 21)

Rudee Inlet, Again:
            The City of Virginia Beach survey of Rudee Inlet, dated May 11, 2009, indicates least depth from 8.7 feet to 9.5 feet, MLLW, in the channel. This area extends from the eastern ends of the jetties for approximately 300 feet westward; inside Rudee Inlet. (USCG 5th District LNM 21)

Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel Repairs:
            Construction/repair/inspection on the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (bridge approaches) will commence on 05 May, 2009 and be completed on or about 15 October, 2009. The Tug CLAIRE JANE will monitor VHF-FM Channel 16 and 78. On site equipment will consist of one 30 foot deck barge and two 55 foot deck barges. The tug and barges will periodically block spans of the bridge. Mariners may contact (443) 871-5026 if further information is required. Mariners should also use extreme caution when transiting the area. (USCG 5th District LNM 21).

Southern Branch Dredging (ICW):
            McLean Contracting Corp. will be conducting dredging operations in the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River on the Gilmerton Bridge Reach, north of Money Point at approximate position 36-46-59N, 076-18-09W from 01 June until 01 July, 2009 . Dredging will be conducted by a crane barge with dredge spoil transported to the Craney Island Spoil Area by tug and barges. Operations will be conducted from 0530 A.M. until 0400 P.M. Monday thru Friday. The tugs will monitor VHF-FM Channels 13 and 16. (USCG 5th District LNM 21)

New 65-Ft Bridge for Beaufort, NC:
            The 5th District LNM 21 reports that planning is finally underway by the NCDOT for the replacement of the Beaufort Bridge (not on the ICW). There has been talk for years about replacing this bridge, and it looks like talk is turning into action. There are no specifics yet, except that the fixed height is proposed to be 65 feet, as are ICW bridges.

Washington, NC Bridge Construction Update:
            Mariners are advised that in-water work activity continues through November 2009 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. Span portions of the bridge (Bents #93 and #92) are scheduled to be constructed from June 29 through July 25, 2009. Mariners are advised to use caution when transiting the area. (USCG 5th District LNM 21)

Fender Repairs, Wrightsville Beach Bridge:
            Mariners are advised that fender repairs will be conducted from June 1 until June 5, 2009, at the S.R. 74 Bridge, at AIWW mile 283.1, at Wrightsville Beach, NC. To facilitate repairs, a motorized platform, measuring 24 feet X 80 feet, will occupy the channel reducing the available horizontal clearance each day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mariners requiring the full width of the channel are requested to provide at least a half-hour advance notice by calling either (910) 523-0833 or the bridge tender at (910) 256-2886. Mariners should also use extreme caution when transiting the area. (USCG 5th District LNM 21).

Lockwoods Folly Inlet (Not ICW) Dredging:
            The ACOE Dredge MERRITT will be conducting dredging in Lockwoods Folly Inlet Channel until 03 June, 2009. The dredge will monitor VHF-FM Channels 13 and 16. (USCG District 5 LNM 20)

Aids Relocated:
            The following aids have been relocated. The shoaling area near the first at White Point has been dredged within the past year, but boaters were still having trouble finding the channel. Hopefully, this will stop the confusion about where the deep water is located. Coosaw River Light 186 (south of the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff) marks a shoal building to seaward.
            White Point Light 110: 32-37-44.141N, 80-16-35.158W
            Coosaw River Light 186: 32-30-24.737, 80-30-26.209W
            (USCG 7th District LNM 20)

Dredging NOW at Georgia’s Hell Gate:
            Cottrell Contracting Corporation has commenced dredging operations between Raccoon Key Lighted Buoy 87 and Hells Gate Light 92, in the Georgia Intracoastal Waterway. All mariners are requested to stay clear of the dredge, pipelines, barges, derricks and operating wires about the dredge. All operators should be aware that the dredge and pontoon lines are held in place by cables, which are attached to anchors some distance from the dredge  and pontoons. Buoys area attached to the anchors so that they may be moved as the dredge moves. Submerged lines should be avoided. Mariners are requested to exercise extreme caution when approaching, passing, and leaving the dredging plant. The dredge RICHMOND will monitor VHF Channels 13 and 16 for passing information. All mariners are urged to use extreme caution while transiting the area. This project will continue until completion on or about July 2, 2009. For further information please contact Mr. Frank Hall at (757) 547-9611. (7th District LNM 18).
            Buoys green can “89” and red nun “90” have been discontinued for dredging according to the 7th District LNM 19.

St. Augustine Inlet Buoy Off-Station:
            The USCG 7th District LNM 21 reports that Buoy “5” in the St. Augustine Inlet is off-station. Check for local knowledge before using this inlet. Depths are usually adequate for most pleasure vessels and commercial fishing boats, but shoals encroach close to the dredged channel, and off-station markers could cause potentially serious incidents.

Summer Lock Closures for Maintenance in Okeechobee Waterway:
            Recent Notices to Navigation Interests from the USACE Jacksonville District (Dates are tentative):

  1. The W.P. Franklin Lock will be closed for installation of a Manatee Protection System starting on July 6 and reopening on August 26, 2009.
    • The Moore Haven Lock will be closed for major maintenance from June 8 to September 3, 2009.

Okeechobee Waterway Lockage Restrictions Reminder:
            The USACE Jacksonville has issued a Notice to Navigation Interests regarding the lock opening schedule for the St. Lucie and W.P. Franklin Locks in the Okeechobee Waterway, effective April 20, 2009. This schedule essentially provides for current and future restrictions, based on the Lake Level (in feet). As the lake level changes, so may the lock schedule, without notice, so don’t be surprised if the schedule changes suddenly. See the table in the April 30, 2009 East Coast Alerts.

To determine the current Lake Level (Elevation), check:

On May 27, 2009 the Lake Level was 10.94 feet, even after all the rain in Central Florida last week.  This puts the schedule in the “3 Lockages per day” category for now at St. Lucie and W.P. Franklin Locks.

Offshore Testing, South Florida:
            Lockheed Martin will be conducting offshore testing with support from Tow Boat US M/V Richard Becker (Ft. Lauderdale) and Sea Tow (Palm Beach) between the Lake Worth Inlet and Boynton Beach Inlet, 1 to 5 miles offshore in water depths from 275’ to 650’ between May 25, 2009 with completion on or about June 15, 2009. Lockheed Martin will be doing Proprietary Testing that will require 2 anchored lines both with a surface buoy. Both buoys will be monitored 24/7 by divers and boats, during night operations both surface buoys will have chemical lights and strobe lights. During theses test operations, due to reduced visibility and heavy sea states this will be considered a high hazard to navigation. The approximate position for the first anchored float is 26 3859.63N 080 00.48W and the second anchored float will be at approximately position 26 37 10.41N 079 57 54.31W, with the potential to move up to 3 miles north (or with the current) of the starting locations. Lockheed Martin will be doing diving operations and will need a 1 mile radius from each location. For further information please contact Mr. Donny Jones at (561) 262-3833. (USCG 7th District LNM 20)

Angel Fish Creek Obstruction:
            The U.S. Coast Guard has received a report of a partially submerged log sticking 3ft above the water in approximate position 25-19.42N 080-15.01W in the vicinity of the entrance to Angel Fish Creek. All mariners are advised to stay alert and transit the area with caution. (USCG 7th District LNM 21)

Florida Bridge Update: From the USCG 7th District LNM 21:           
             Bridge of Lions, Mile 777.9: Construction continues.
            New Smyrna North Bridge (AKA George C. Musson Memorial Bridge), Mile 845: Closed for repairs on June 30, 2009 at 6:00 a.m. until 6:00 a.m. on July 3, 2009. Vessels not requiring an opening may pass at any time.        
            NASA Railroad Bridge, Mile 876.6: Due to repairs, this bridge is scheduled to be closed to navigation from 7:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except federal holidays, March 16-June 30, 2009. However, cruisers report that this bridge is only closing sporadically, and usually not for the entire scheduled period.    
Max Brewer Bridge, Mile 878.9: AKA Titusville Bridge will be replaced with a high level bridge. Construction will begin May 11, 2009 and continue through April, 2011. Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville will broadcast Notices to Mariners regarding restrictions as needed.
            Bakers Haulover Bridge, North Miami Beach (Not on the ICW): The fender system on this bridge will be replaced between April 12 and December 7, 2009.A barge and floating equipment will be in the vicinity and at times will be restricting the navigable channel.
            East Venetian Causeway (Not on the ICW): (across the Miami Beach Channel) This bridge will be under repairs beginning May 1, 2009 and ending June 20, 2009. The channel will be closed and no vessels except emergency vessels may pass during the repair period.  
            Blackburn Point Swingbridge, GIWW Mile 63.1, Sarasota: This bridge will be closed to vehicle traffic from May 18-June 18, 2009, but will be open for marine traffic. In the event of a hurricane it will close as quickly as possible and remain closed for up to two days after the storm.

Vessels in Trouble, SW Florida:
            The following three new notices were published in the USCG 7th “District LNM 21. It was not reported when these occurred, or if and when they have been followed up with salvage:
             The U.S. Coast Guard has received a report of a 38ft sailing vessel named “KOKALOL” The vessel is white with a blue bimini top DOC# 1093727 this vessel has capsized in the vicinity of Boca Grande Pass in position 26-42.15N 082-17.507W.
            The U.S. Coast Guard has received a report of a 26ft white partially submerged vessel showing only the bow in the channel of the Myakka River in position 26-56.6N 082-10.7W approximately .5NM east of marker #9.
            The U.S. Coast Guard has received a report of a 38ft Pursuit partially submerged showing 4-5ft above the water line in 7ft of water in the vicinity of Johns Pass in position 27-46.656N 082-47.053W.
            All mariners are requested to exercise caution while transiting these areas.

Shoaling at Clearwater Marina Channel:
            Shoaling has been reported encroaching eastward into the center of Clearwater Marina Channel between Clearwater Marina Channel Daybeacon 2 and Clearwater Marina Channel Light 3. Water depth reported at 3ft to 5ft at Mean Low Water (MLW). Shoaling is most prominent in the vicinity of Light 3 channelward within 100ft. (USCG 7th District LNM 20)

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 this use.