Carolina Beach Inlet channel too shallow to mark safe navigation in North Carolina

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Channel surveys in 2019 show water depths in Carolina Beach Inlet channel are less than four feet in some areas, prompting the Coast Guard to remove aids to navigation that may mislead mariners.

On April 1, 2019, the Coast Guard will begin to temporarily discontinue 10 navigational aids in the inlet. The Army Corps of Engineers provided recent surveys, which expose significant shoaling between Buoy 1 (LLNR 30265) and Buoy 9 (LLNR 30305).

The buoys are intended to mark safe areas of passage with known depths. Leaving the buoys in place may lead mariners through an unsafe route. Boaters who choose to transit the inlet without buoys, do so at their own risk.

“The safety of mariners is our first priority,” said Cmdr. Heather Stratton, chief of prevention for Coast Guard Sector North Carolina. “Right now, the waterway is unsafe to navigate due to extreme shoaling and currents. Once it is safe to navigate the channel, we will reestablish the aids to navigation.”

See the Army Corps of Engineers survey here.

Read details in the Coast Guard Marine Safety Information Bulletin 

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