Coast Guard warns of damaged navigation marker

11th Coast Guard District NewsSAN DIEGO – The U.S. Coast Guard is warning mariners transiting in San Diego Bay that an aid to navigation located near the west end of Shelter Island was damaged in an allision and could pose a hazard to navigation.

Shelter Island West End Light 4, LLNR-1595, was struck sometime before Wednesday afternoon, shifting the day board portion of the aid out of position and bending a section of the ladder perpendicular to the aid near the waterline.

The light on the aid is still operating properly. This aid marks the right side of the channel into the Shelter Island yacht basin.

The responsible party left the scene without reporting the damage, leaving a potentially hazardous situation due to the steel ladder protruding from the pole and the misalignment of the day marker.

Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team San Diego responded to the damaged marker and removed the protruding ladder Wednesday evening. Preparations to repair the day board are currently underway.

Coast Guard responded to three separate vessel collisions with the aids to navigation near the west end of Shelter Island in the past year, two of which were unreported.

“The responsible party in this case did not report the collision or damage to the Coast Guard when it happened, as is required by law,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Tapp, Officer in Charge of ANT San Diego. “Unfortunately, they also left a dangerous hazard in the area that could have easily damaged or injured another mariner using that aid to navigation in the dark or in foggy conditions. The broken ladder was left perpendicular and protruding near the water line right at a level where it could have easily been struck again. We are very fortunate that a mariner on a smaller vessel did not hit the dangerous protrusion from the pole and injure themselves or others.”

San Diego Harbor Police reported the damaged aid to the Coast Guard Wednesday afternoon. Anyone involved in a collision with a navigation aid is required to contact the Coast Guard. Mariners are also urged to contact the Coast Guard if they observe discrepancies to any aid to navigation. The Coast Guard can be contacted on marine VHF radio Channel 16, or by calling the U.S. Coast Guard Joint Harbor Operations Center at (619) 278-7033.

The Coast Guard is currently investigating the circumstances of this allision. Anyone with information regarding this event is asked to contact the Coast Guard JHOC number listed above.

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