Coast Guard urges caution while transiting Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway

5th Coast Guard District NewsPORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard urges mariners Wednesday to exercise caution while transiting the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AICW) due to shoaling conditions.

Several portions of the AICW show significant shoaling, specifically those areas near mile markers 237, 271, 280 and 321 in North Carolina. There have been and continue to be groundings in these areas.

Shoaling conditions increase the potential for vessel groundings, and any vessel grounding presents a significant risk of injury and vessel damage.

The captain of the port for Coast Guard Sector North Carolina suggests all mariners take the following precautions while transiting the AICW in these areas:

• Transit at the slowest safe speed and proceed with caution
• Conduct proper pre-voyage planning when intending to transit these areas
• Transit at high tide and in daylight hours
• Ensure vessel drafts are adequate to transit the AICW
• Do not attempt to overtake or meet other vessels in these areas

These areas are subject to continual and sometimes rapid environmental changes. Some aids to navigation on the AICW may not be charted and may be marking best water outside of the federal channel due to continually shifting shoals.

Mariners are advised to consult the local notice to mariners to receive up-to-date information at http://ift.tt/TNYlOD

For specific information and guidance, please refer to Marine Safety Information Bulletin 035-15.

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