Coast Guard to close, remove New Pass navigational markers in Sarasota

SARASOTA, Fla. — The Coast Guard is scheduled to close the New Pass channel and remove the navigational markers due to hazardous conditions between Monday, June 12 and Friday, June 16.

New Pass is one of the three channels leading into Sarasota Bay and cuts just between the two keys past Mote Marine Laboratory.

Due to unpredictable weather, an exact date of navigational marker removal is not determined; however, a notice to mariners will be broadcasted before the removal starts and when it’s complete.

“We re-established this channel in September 2016 after dredging was complete,” said Chief Warrant Officer Darren Pauly, Aids to Navigation Officer for Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. “In nine months, the channel has become unsafe due to shoaling that was intensified following the major storms during the 2016 hurricane season. Significant shoaling is causing hazardous conditions for boaters and the Coast Guard can no longer safely mark the ‘best water’ in this channel. Aids to navigation will not be returned until the conditions improve.”

The Coast Guard expects to remove nine New Pass channel buoys. The following aids will be disestablished or removed:

  • New Pass Channel Buoy 1 (21590)
  • New Pass Channel Buoy 2 (21595)
  • New Pass Channel Buoy 2A (21598)
  • New Pass Channel Buoy 3 (21599)
  • New Pass Channel Buoy 3A (21600)
  • New Pass Channel Buoy 4 (21603)
  • New Pass Channel Buoy 5 (21605)
  • New Pass Channel Buoy 5A (21610)
  • New Pass Channel Buoy 6 (21612)

Officials also plan to convert two channel lights into “Danger Shoal” markers with quick, white flashing lights visible for three nautical miles. Both are detailed (on page 53) in the Coast Guard’s recent local notice to mariners.

The following aids will be renamed:

  • New Pass Channel Light NP (1345) will be renamed “New Pass Shoal LT A”
  • New Pass Channel Light 7 (21620) will be renamed “New Pass Shoal LT B”.

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