East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale

Attention Snowbirds

More Shoaling Reports--AICW at Matanzas Inlet, Florida:
          While in St. Augustine for the past several weeks we heard the Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville issue numerous special Broadcast Notices to Mariners on the VHF regarding the shoaling at AICW Mile 793—the notorious Matanzas Inlet area. The broadcasts stated that depths of 3 feet at MLW have been reported to the Coast Guard.*

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

The following was posted on the February 18, 2010 East Coast Alerts:
          The Coast Guard has received a report of shoaling that extends half-way across the channel in the vicinity of the following aids:
Matanzas River Buoy 81A
Matanzas River Buoy 81B
Matanzas River Buoy 81C
Matanzas River Buoy 81D
Mariners are urged to transit the area with extreme caution.(7th District LNM 07)
          NOTE: This notoriously shoal-prone area is the most often dredged waterway in Florida. The usual pattern that we have observed in the past 26 years of cruising in this area has been that shoaling builds up from the ocean side of the AICW and pushes the deep channel westward, but this pattern can change. This report does not indicate which half of the channel has shoaled. Seek local knowledge before you pass through, and look for updates from the Coast Guard as to locations of these markers, as they are often moved to mark the best water.

Bridge of Lions Channel Restrictions & Closures: March and April, 2010:
            NOTE the Full Channel Closures Below:
            March 22, 2010--March 27, 2010: Channel fully closed
from 8:00 pm Monday evening 3/22/2010 until 8:00 am Saturday morning 3/27/2010. Openings: None
          March 29, 2010--April 3, 2010 Channel fully closed from 8:00 pm Monday evening 3/29/2010 until 8:00 am Saturday morning 4/3/2010. Openings: None
          April 5, 2010--April 10, 2010 Channel closed each night from 8:00 pm to 8:00 am. Openings: Daytime (8:00 am to 8:00 pm)
          April 12, 2010--April 17, 2010 Channel closed each night from 8:00 pm to 8:00 am. Openings: Daytime (8:00 am to 8:00 pm)
These restrictions/closures have been reviewed and approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. Please call (904) 825-3647 or (904) 669-1165 with questions.

Laurie Sanderson

Public Information Officer
Bridge of Lions Rehabilitation Project


New Special Warning about Yemen, Somali Warning Continues in Effect:

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the high security threat level in Yemen due to terrorist activities and recommends postponing non-essential travel to Yemen. The level of risk for foreigners in Yemen remains high.
See enclosure (14) for complete message.
Due to continuing conditions of armed conflict and lawlessness in Somalia and waters off its coast, mariners are advised to avoid the Port of Mogadishu and to remain at least 200 nautical miles distant from the Somali Coast.

Loran-C Info Removed from NOAA Charts:
          Transmission of LORAN-C signals in the United States was terminated February 8, 2010. New editions of NOAA Nautical Charts will no longer display LORAN-C lattice lines, LORAN-C Interpolators, or notes associated with LORAN-C. (1st District LNM 10)

GPS Software Upgrade:
          The Civil Global Positioning System Service Interface Committee (CGSIC), administered by the US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that, on March 5, the GPS program will be revising the Ground Control Segment software to the 5.5.0 D version. This software upgrade does not modify the content of the broadcast navigation message and should therefore be transparent to all users. All testing has been completed and confidence is very high that the upgrade will perform without any change noticeable to users. The CGSIC would like your confirmation on this. If you observe anything unusual in the GPS constellation or in user GPS equipment operation on March 5, or during the following week, please notify the USCG Navigation Center as soon as possible, in accordance with Notice Advisory to NAVSTAR Users (NANU) 2010041 (5th District LNM 11)

Contact NOAA Regarding Electronic Charting Glitch:
          Mariners are advised that ECDIS may not display some isolated shoal depths when operating in “BASE or STANDARD Display” mode. Route planning and monitoring alarms for these shoal depths may not always be activated. To ensure safe navigation and to confirm that a planned route is clear of such dangers, mariners should visually inspect the planned route using the ECDIS configured to display “ALL DATA”. The Mariner should not solely rely on the automated voyage planning check function. NOAA is in the process of examining its ENC data for these cases and will issue a notice to mariner for each area that has been examined and updated. To ask questions via the website or to contact NOAA concerning ECDIS issues: http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/staff/headline-ecdis-issue.html
(NOTE: ECDIS: Electronic Chart Display and Information System, used aboard commercial ships; ENC: Electronic Navigational Charts) (5th District LNM 11)

More Right Whale DMA Updates (Update/Extension March 24, 2010):
          To protect aggregations of right whales, NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service announces the extension of voluntary vessel speedrestriction zones (Dynamic Management Area - DMA). The zones are Offshore of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Seasonal Management Areas between Fernandina Beach, Florida and Savannah Georgia, near Ponce Inlet, and offshore of the Mid-Atlantic Seasonal Management Area between Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina. All DMA’s are active through March 24, 2010. Mariners are requested to route around these areas or transit through at 10 knots or less.
The DMAs are described as follows:
          Offshore Savannah/Charleston DMA (Active through March 24, 2010)
Northern boundary: 32°35'N
Southern boundary: 32°02'N
Eastern boundary: line drawn from Northern Boundary from 079°11'W to Southern boundary at 080°01'W (Approximately 8NM offshore and parallel to the Mid-Atlantic Seasonal Management Area).
Western boundary: line drawn from Northern Boundary from 079°26'W to Southern boundary at 080°16'W or the Mid-Atlantic Seasonal Management Area.
          Offshore Fernandina Beach/Savannah DMA (Active through March 24, 2010) Approximately 10 to 15 NM offshore of the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast Seasonal Management Area between 32°02'N and 30°33'N. Waters Bounded by the following coordinates: 32°02'N, 080°16'W; 32°02'N, 080°01'W; 31°21'N, 080°32' W; 30°33'N, 080°46'W; 30°33'N, 080°51.6'W; 31°27'N, 080°51.6'W; 31°50'N, 080°33.2'W; and back to start.
          Ponce Inlet DMA (Active through March 24, 2010)
Northern boundary: 29°45'N
Southern boundary: 28°59'N
Eastern boundary: line drawn from northern boundary at 080° 51' W and the southern boundary at 080° 38'W
Western boundary: Shoreline
          For more information about the DMA program and other regulations to reduce ship strikes of right whales, please visit: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/shipstrike (7th District LNM 11).

GPS Unreliable Canaveral Area:
          The GPS navigation signal may be unreliable do to testing on GPS frequencies used by shipboard navigation and handheld systems. Systems that rely on GPS such as E-911, AIS and DSC, may be affected within a 5NM radius of position 28-28-10.5N 080-34.44W Cape Canaveral, Florida. Testing will be conducted on the following dates and times: March 6-24, 2010 (0000Z-2359Z). More information is available at the Coast Guard Navigation Center website www.navcen.uscg.gov. GPS users are encouraged to report any GPS service outages that they may experience to the Navigation Information Service (NIS) by calling (703) 313-5900 or by using the NAVCEN website to submit a GPS problem report. (7th District LNM 11)

USCG First District
Coastal Waters from Eastport, Maine to Shrewsbury, New Jersey

First District Continues LED Conversion:
          As the First District continues to replace incandescent lights on Nav Aids with LEDs, there are numerous updates of the progress in each edition of the Local Notices to Mariners. There are so many that we stopped listing them more than a year ago unless there is a major difference between the old and the new. In most cases, the difference is a one nautical mile decrease in the nominal range (ie: how far away the light can be seen; for example, nominal range may be decreased from 4 nautical miles to 3 nautical miles). This is just a reminder that it is happening.

Research Buoys in NJ Waters:
          On March 16, 2010 through June 30, 2010, Ocean Surveys Inc. will be conducting research operations in the vicinity of Elizabeth Port 40-38-48.66N/074-11-02.68W, east to Bergen Point 40-38-39.43N/074-07-43.33W, north to Newark Bay 40-41-34.89N/074-07-28.61W, the Hackensack River 40-44-18.14n/074-05-27.61W and the Passaic River 40-53-05.67N/074-07-47.21W. There will be approximately 6 buoys throughout the Passaic River, 2 buoys in Newark Bay, 1 buoy off Bergen Point, 1 buoy off Elizabeth Port and 1 buoy in the Hackensack River. These research buoys will be yellow in color, lighted and will be out of the navigation channel. POC for this project is Mr. Ken Cadmus at 860-395-8112. All mariners are urged to use caution when transiting this area. (First District LNM 10)

USCG Fifth District
Coastal Waters from Shrewsbury River, New Jersey to Little River, South Carolina

Delaware River Ranges Temporarily Discontinued:
          The Horseshoe Range Front Light and Horseshoe Range Rear Light will be temporarily discontinued from 24 March until 19 May, 2010, for rebuild/relocation. (5th District LNM 11)

Dredging: Upper Chesapeake:
          The Great Lakes Dredging bucket dredge 55 will be conducting channel maintenance dredging in the Elk River near Grove Point to the Upper Chesapeake Channel at Tolchester Beach until 14 April 2010. The dredge will monitor VHF-FM Channels 13 and 16. The tugs Captain Dann and Baltic Dawn will be transporting dredge material to the Pooles Island Disposal site. A NO WAKE transit is request from all vessels. (5th District LNM 11)

Channel Closed Under St. Michaels Area Bridge:
          Mariners are advised that emergency repairs to the Maryland SR-33 fixed highway bridge, across Oak Creek between Newcomb and St. Michaels, Maryland, are scheduled to occur from March 22, 2010 to June 7, 2010. The limited width of the existing bridge and the combined weight of bridge segments and crane prevent placing and operating a crane safely on the existing structure. Since the removal and replacement of span 7 over the navigation channel requires positioning a crane barge (140 feet in length and 52 feet in width) in the 60-foot wide navigation channel, the navigation channel in the vicinity of the bridge will be restricted during this period and will not be passable. Vessels and persons transiting Oak Creek outside the navigation channel, around the construction site, do so at their discretion. It is crucial that mariners operating near the work zone eliminate wakes. Heavy-lift work is scheduled during two periods, March 22-April 12, 2010 and May 17-June 7, 2010. A small floating platform and the 26-foot push boat “The Covington” will be on scene for other bridge-related work. All equipment will be marked and lighted in accordance with Coast Guard regulations. Interested mariners can contact Covington Machine and Welding, Inc. at telephone (410) 841-6868, or Coast Guard Sector Baltimore Waterways Management Division at telephone (410) 576-2674 or email Ronald.L.Houck@uscg.mil. (5th District LNM 11)

Safety at Sea Regulated Area in Annapolis:
          Mariners are advised that the U.S. Naval Academy Sailing Squadron will sponsor the “Safety At Sea Seminar (31st Annual)” in the Severn River adjacent to the U. S. Naval Academy, between the Naval Academy (SR-450) Bridge and Triton Light (LLN-19780), on Saturday, March 27, 2010, from 12 noon until 1 p.m. The event includes on-water activities involving small boats, a low-flying helicopter and pyrotechnics demonstrations. As described in Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Section 100.501, special local regulations establish a regulated area for all waters of the Severn River (from shoreline to shoreline), bounded to the northwest by a line drawn from the south shoreline at 39°00'38.9" N, 76°31'05.2" W, thence to the north shoreline at 39°00'54.7" N, 076°30'44.8" W, this line is approximately 1300 yards northwest of the Severn River (US-50) Bridge. The regulated area is bounded to the southeast by a line drawn from the Naval Academy Light at 38°58'39.5" N, 076°28'49" W, thence southeast to a point 700 yards east of Chinks Point, at 38°58'1.9" N, 076°28'1.7" W, thence northeast to Greenbury Point at 38°58'29" N, 076°27'16" W. The effect will be to restrict vessel traffic on certain waters of the Severn River from 11 a.m. through 1:30 p.m. The Coast Guard Patrol Commander may forbid and control the movement of all vessels in the regulated area. Coast Guard vessels enforcing this regulated area can be contacted on marine band radio channel 16 or 22A VHF-FM. When hailed or signaled by an official patrol vessel, a vessel in the area shall immediately comply with the directions given. Failure to do so may result in expulsion from the area, citation for failure to comply, or both. Mariners are urged to schedule their transits on this waterway beyond the enforcement times. For any comments or questions, contact Mr. Ron Houck, Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, at (410) 576-2674 or Ronald.L.Houck@uscg.mil. (5th District LNM 11)

Potomac River Diving Ops:
          Mariners are advised that the Institute of Maritime History plans to conduct underwater archaeological surveys on the Potomac River in the vicinity of Mount Vernon, VA, from April 24, 2010 through May 2, 2010. The surveys will include remote sensing using sonar and magnetometers and site assessments with scuba divers from a 36-foot trawler operating in the Potomac River between Whitestone Point, VA and Sheridan Point, VA, a skiff operating in Dogue Creek, and a skiff operating near Mt. Vernon between Dogue Creek and Little Hunting Creek. Interested mariners may contact the trawler ROPER via marine band radio channel 16 VHF-FM, if necessary. (5th District LNM 11)

Cable Installation in Hampton Roads:
          Precon Marine, Inc. will be installing sensor cables in the vicinity of Elizabeth River Lighted Buoy 1ER and Elizabeth River Channel Lighted Bell Buoy 3 from 08 March until 15 April, 2010. A 120 foot barge pushed by the tug Dottie J will be on scene and monitoring VHF-FM channels 13 and 16. All vessels are requested to transit at a NO WAKE speed and mariners are urged to use caution when transiting the area. (5th District LNM 11)

Berkley Bridge (Norfolk, Not on the AICW) Schedule Testing:
          Mariners are advised that a temporary deviation has been approved by the Coast Guard to test another drawbridge operation regulation at the Berkley Bridge, at mile 0.4, across the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River in Norfolk VA. Effective from 9 a.m. on March 10, 2010 through 2:30 p.m. on September 3, 2010, the draw of the bridge shall open on signal to vessels at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, to include new operating procedures for transiting vessels. This deviation is necessary to test another change in the drawbridge operation schedule based on comments received from the first test deviation published on October 9, 2009. Comments on the new test schedule should be forwarded to the above address attention (dpb) no later than July 1, 2010. Copies of PUBLIC NOTICE 5-1176 which describe the test schedule in detail can be obtained by writing to the Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District, 431 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, Virginia 23704. (5th District LNM 11)

Old Jordan Bridge (Norfolk, AICW) Removal Caution:

Centerville Turnpike Bridge Repair--Temporary Schedule Change (AICW Mile 15.2):
          Mariners are advised that the Coast Guard has approved a temporary deviation to restrict the operation of the Centerville Turnpike (SR170) Bridge, at AIWW mile 15.2, across the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal in Chesapeake, VA. To facilitate structural repairs to the movable span, the drawbridge will be allowed to open every two hours for vessels requiring an opening on the following schedule:
A. Beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 10, 2010, until and including 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 11, 2010; and
B. Beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 17, 2010, until and including 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 18, 2010.
C. Saturday openings at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m., and 10 p.m.
D. Sunday openings at midnight, 2 a.m., 4 a.m., 6 a.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m.
E. At all other times, the drawbridge will operate in accordance with the operating regulations set out in Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 117.997(i). Mariners should adjust their transits accordingly and use extreme caution when transiting the area. (5th District LNM 11)

Gallants Channel Restricted at Beaufort Bridge, NC:
          The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on the waters of Gallants Channel at Beaufort, North Carolina. The State of North Carolina Department of Transportation awarded a contract to Hames Contracting Inc. of Alpharetta, Georgia, to perform bridge maintenance on the Grayden Paul Draw Bridge at the Gallants Channel crossing to Beaufort, North Carolina. The contract provides for cleaning, painting, steel repair, and grid floor replacement to begin on March 1, 2010 and will be complete by April 30, 2010. The contractor will be utilizing a 110’ deck barge with a 30’ beam as a work platform and equipment staging. This operation presents a potential hazard to mariners from falling debris and the use of heavy equipment and machinery. To provide for the safety of the public, the Coast Guard will temporarily restrict access to this section of Gallants Channel during the maintenance period when the deck barge is obstructing the waterway. (5th District LNM 11)

Shoaling in North Carolina Smaller Inlets:
          Ocracoke: Shoaling to a depth of approximately 1.5 to 2.0 feet MLW has been reported in the vicinity of Ocracoke Inlet Channel Lighted Buoy 16 and extending to Teaches Hole Channel Lighted Buoy 22.
          Hatteras: Shoaling to a depth of approximately 5.0 feet MLW has been reported in the vicinity of Hatteras Inlet Lighted B Buoy 10C.
          Bogue: Shoaling to a depth of approximately 2.0 feet MLW has been reported in the vicinity of Bogue Inlet Lighted Buoy 5. And approximately 1.0 foot in the vicinity of Bogue Inlet Lighted Buoy 8. Mariners are urged to use caution when transiting the area. (5th District LNM 11)

Wrightsville Beach Bridge to Close for One Hour for Road Race:
          SR 74/Wrightsville Beach (lift) Bridge – Closed to vessels from 0630 to 0730 on SUN 21 MAR 10, to accommodate road races. (5th District LNM 11)

AICW Dredging at Two Trouble Spots:
           The dredge WILCO will be conducting dredging operations in the AIWW at New River Inlet from 17 February until 15 April, 2010. The vessels PROUD MARY and ANN KAY will be on scene. The dredge and assisting vessels will monitor VHF-FM Channels 13, 16 & 79. A floating and submerged pipeline will traverse southerly from the AIWW at New River Inlet crossing and then along the west shoreline to the New Topsail Inlet disposal area. The pipeline will be lighted in accordance with Coast Guard regulations.
          The dredge JENNI LEA will be conducting dredging operations in the AIWW at Carolina Beach Inlet to Snows Cut from 20 February until 21 March, 2010. The vessels BETTY LOU and MISS LEANNE will be on scene. The dredge and assisting vessels will monitor VHF-FM Channels 13, 16 & 78. A floating and submerged pipeline will traverse from Snows Cut along the eastern shore line of the AIWW and then easterly along the shoreline of Carolina Beach Inlet to the Carolina Beach disposal area. The pipeline will be lighted in accordance with Coast Guard regulations. (5th District LNM 11)

Sunny Point Dredging:
          The dredge VIRGINIAN will be conducting dredging operations at the Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point from 04 March until 10 June, 2010. The dredge will monitor VHF-FM Channels 13 and 16. Spoil will be transported to the disposal site via tug and scow. (5th District LNM 11)

Dredging in Lower Cape Fear River:
          The hopper dredge DODGE ISLAND will be conducting dredging operations in the Lower Cape Fear River from Horseshoe Shoals to the Baldhead Shoals Reach from 04 February until 05 April, 2010. The survey vessel EAST RIVER will be assisting. The dredge material will be deposited in the ocean Dredge material Disposal site. The dredge and assisting vessel will monitor VHF-FM channels 13, and 16. A slow NO WAKE speed is requested of transiting vessels. All vessels are requested to contact the dredge prior to passing. (5th District LNM 11)

Cape Fear Nav Aids Relocated for Dredging:
          On or about 10 March, 2010 the following aids to navigation will be temporarily relocated to facilitate dredging in the Cape Fear River:
A. Cape Fear River Entrance Channel Lighted Buoy 8 to 33-50-27.060N, 078-01-39.960W.
B. Cape Fear River Entrance Channel Lighted Buoy 9 to 33-51-15.360N, 078-01-37.500W.
C. Cape Fear River Entrance Channel Lighted Buoy 10 to 33-51-11.220N, 078-01-24.840W.
D. Cape Fear River Entrance Lighted Buoy 25 to 33-57-15.900N, 077-57-36.360W.
E. Cape Fear River Entrance Lighted Buoy 25A to 33-57-32.340N, 077-57-22.800W. (5th District LNM 11)

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