Coast Gaurd reminds mariners to exercise caution when navigating San Diego Bay

Members of Aids to Navigation Team (ANT) San Diego conduct repairs to the San Diego Bay Entrance Range Front Light, Jan. 27, 2011. The aid, used by vessels when approaching or departing the San Diego Bay, sustained damage when a vessel allided with it. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Tapp.

Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Tapp

SAN DIEGO – The Coast Guard continues to warn mariners that the San Diego Bay Entrance Range Front Light (light list number LLNR 1500) located near the entrance to Shelter Island Basin Channel is currently displaying the incorrect lighting characteristics following a vessel allision with the aid, which occurred Jan. 19, 2011.

The Aids to Navigation Team (ANT) and Sector San Diego’s Joint Harbor Operations Center (JHOC) were notified of the allision and the JHOC issued a Safety Marine Information Broadcast (SMIB) alerting mariners in the area of the damaged structure. The ANT sent out a Broadcast Notice to Mariners, an immediate important safety notification concerning navigational aids.

“That aid is arguably one of the most critical aids used by vessels when approaching or departing the San Diego Bay,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Tapp, officer in charge of the ANT. “Unfortunately, the damage is beyond the ability of the ANT to repair and is going to require contracted equipment to realign the light and daymarks with the Rear Range.”

Following notification of the allision, the ANT members inspected the aid and were able to determine that it was watching properly at the time of the allision.

The damage caused by the allision resulted in the dayshape platform needing to be realigned with the rear range light. Additionally, all five of the solar panels used to charge the aid’s batteries were broken and needed to be replaced.

Furthermore, the damage sustained to the aid structure makes it extremely dangerous for the ANT members who have to climb the mangled ladder to service it properly.

The cause of the allision is currently under investigation.

U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Rules:

  • RULE 5: Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.
  • RULE 7 (a): Every vessel shall use all available means appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions to determine if risk of collision exists. If there is any doubt such risk shall be deemed to exist.

Operators are reminded they are required to report allisions with aids to navigation to the Coast Guard per 33 CFR part 70.05-20 and 46 CFR part 4.05-20, “Reports of Accidents to Aids to Navigation.”

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