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1. GENERAL INFORMATION

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(1) UNITED STATES COAST PILOT.-The National Ocean Service Coast Pilot is a series of nine nautical books that covers a wide variety of information important to navigators of U.S. coastal and intracoastal waters, and the waters of the Great Lakes. Most of this book information cannot be shown graphically on the standard nautical charts and is not readily available elsewhere. The subjects in the Coast Pilot include, but are not limited to, channel descriptions, anchorages, bridge and cable clearances, currents, tide and water levels, prominent features, pilotage, towage, weather, ice conditions, wharf descriptions, dangers, routes, traffic separation schemes, small-craft facilities, and Federal regulations applicable to navigation.

(2) Notice.-Amendments are issued to this publication through U.S. Coast Guard Local Notices to Mariners. A subscription to the Local Notice to Mariners is available upon application to the appropriate Coast Guard District Commander (Aids to Navigation Branch). Consult appendix for address. All amendments are also issued in Defense Mapping Agency Notices to Mariners.

(3) Bearings. These are true and are expressed in degrees from 000° (north) to 359°, measured clockwise. General bearings are expressed by initial letters of the points of the compass (e.g., N, NNE, NE, etc.). Adjective and adverb endings, except in chapter 2, Navigation Regulations, have been discarded. Wherever precise bearings are intended degrees are used. Light-sector bearings are toward the light.

Bridges and Cables.-Vertical clearances of bridges and overhead cables are in feet (meters) above Low Water Datum unless otherwise stated. When the water level is above Low Water Datum, the bridge and overhead cable clearances given in this Coast Pilot and shown on the charts should be reduced accordingly. Clearances of drawbridges are for the closed position, although the open clearances are also given for vertical-lift bridges. Clearances given in the Coast Pilot are those approved for nautical charting, and are supplied by the U.S. Coast Guard (bridges) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (cables); they may be as-built (verified by actual inspection after completion of structures) or authorized (design values specified in permit issued prior to construction). No differentiation is made in the Coast Pilot between as-built and authorized clearances. (See charts for horizontal clearances of bridges, as these are given in the Coast Pilot only when they are less than 50 feet (15 meters).) Submarine cables are rarely mentioned.

Cable ferries.-Cable ferries are guided by cables fastened to shore and sometimes propelled by a cable rig attached to the shore. Generally, the cables are suspended during crossings and dropped to the bottom when the ferries dock. Where specific operating procedures are known they are mentioned in the text. Since operating procedures vary, mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution and seek local knowledge. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PASS A MOVING CABLE FERRY.

(6) Courses.-These are true and are given in degrees clockwise from 000° (north) to 359o. The courses given are the courses to be made good.

(7) Currents.-Stated current velocities are the averages at strength. Velocities are in knots, which are nautical miles per hour,

or in statute miles per hour. Directions are the true directions to which the currents set. (8)

Depths.-Depth is the vertical distance from the chart datum to the bottom and is expressed in the same units (feet, meters, or fathoms) as soundings on the applicable chart. (See Chart Datum this chapter for further detail.) The controlling depth of a channel is the least depth within the limits of the channel; it restricts the safe use of the channel to drafts of less than that depth. The centerline controlling depth of a channel applies only to the channel centerline; lesser depths may exist in the remainder of the channel. The midchannel controlling depth of a channel is the controlling depth of only the middle half of the channel. Federal project depth is the design dredging depth of a channel constructed by the Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army; the project depth may or may not be the goal of maintenance dredging after completion of the channel, and, for this reason, project depth must not be confused with controlling depth. Depths alongside wharves usually have been reported by owners and/or operators of the waterfront facilities, and have not been verified by Government surveys; since these depths may be subject to change, local authorities should be consulted for the latest controlling depths.

(9) In general, the Coast Pilot gives the project depths for deep-draft ship channels maintained by the Corps of Engineers. The latest controlling depths are usually shown on the charts and published in the Notices to Mariners. For other channels, the latest controlling depths available at the time of publication are given. In all cases, however, mariners are advised to consult with pilots, port and local authorities, and Federal and State authorities for the latest channel controlling depths.

(10) Under-keel clearances.-It is becoming increasingly evident that economic pressures are causing mariners to navigate through waters of barely adequate depth, with under-keel clearances being finely assessed from the charted depths, predicted water levels, and depths recorded by echo sounders. (11)

It cannot be too strongly emphasized that even charts based on modern surveys may not show all submerged obstructions or the shoalest depths, and actual water levels may be appreciably lower than those predicted.

(12) In many ships an appreciable correction must be applied to shoal soundings recorded by echo sounders due to the horizontal distance between the transducers. This separation correction, which is the amount by which recorded depths therefore exceed true depths, increases with decreasing depths to a maximum equal to half the distance apart of the transducers; at this maximum the transducers are aground. Ships whose transducers are more than 6 feet (1.8 meters)apart should construct a table of true and recorded depths using the Traverse Tables. (Refer to discussion of echo soundings elsewhere in chapter 1.)

(13) Other appreciable corrections, which must be applied by many ships, are for settlement and squat. These corrections depend on the depth of water below the keel, the hull form, and speed of the ship.

(14) Settlement causes the water level around the ship to be lower than would otherwise be the case. It will always cause echo soundings to be less than they would otherwise be. Settlement is appreciable when the depth is less than seven times the draft of the ship, and increases as the depth decreases and the speed increases.

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(15) Squat denotes a change in trim of a ship underway, relative to her trim when stopped. It usually causes the stern of a vessel to sit deeper in the water. However, it is reported that in the case of mammoth ships squat causes the bow to sit deeper. Depending on the location of the echo sounding transducers, this may cause the recorded depth to be greater or less than it ought to be.

(16) Distances.-These are in statute miles unless otherwise stated. A statute mile is 5,280 feet, 1,760 yards, or about 0.87 nautical mile.

(17) Heights.-These are in feet (meters) above the chart datum used for that purpose on the charts, usually Low Water Datum.

(18) Light and fog signal characteristics.-These are not described, and light sectors and visible ranges are normally not defined. (See United States and Canadian Coast Guard Light Lists.)

(19) Obstructions.-Wrecks and other obstructions are mentioned only if of a relatively permanent nature and in or near normal traffic routes.

(20) Potable Water Intakes are shown on NOS charts of the Great Lakes and connecting waters with the symbol PWI. Potable water intakes are not generally mentioned in the Coast Pilot. (See Potable Water Intakes, chapter 3, and 21 CFR 1250.93, chapter 2.)

(21) Radio aids to navigation.- These are seldom described. (See United States and Canadian Coast Guard Light Lists and Defense Mapping Agency Hydrographic/Topographic Center and Canadian Coast Guard Radio Navigational Aids publications.)

(22) Ranges. These are not fully described. “A 339° Range" means that the rear structure bears 339° from the front structure. (See United States and Canadian Coast Guard Light Lists.)

(23) Reported information.-Information received by NOS from various sources concerning depths, dangers, currents, facilities, and other subjects, which has not been verified by Government surveys or inspections, is often included in Coast Pilot; such unverified information is qualified as “reported”, and should be regarded with caution.

(24) Time.-Unless otherwise stated, all times are given in local standard time in the 24-hour system. (Noon is 1200, 2:00 p.m. is 1400, and midnight is 0000.)

(25) Winds.-Directions are the true directions from which the winds blow. Unless otherwise indicated, speeds are given in statute miles per hour.

reported marine information required by deep-draft vessels operating in both foreign and domestic waters. Special items, covering a variety of subjects and generally not discussed in the Coast Pilot or shown on nautical charts, are published annually in Notice to Mariners No. 1. These items are important to the mariner and should be read for future reference. These notices may be obtained by operators of deep-draft vessels, without cost, by making application to Defense Mapping Agency (see Defense Mapping Agency Procurement Information in appendix).

(29) Notices and reports of improved channel depths are also published by district offices of the Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army. (See appendix for districts covered by this volume.) Although information from these notices/reports affecting NOS charts and related publications is usually published in the Notices to Mariners, the local district engineer office should be consulted where depth information is critical.

(30) Marine Broadcast Notices to Mariners are made by the Coast Guard through Coast Guard, Navy, and some commercial radio stations to report deficiencies and important changes in aids to navigation. (See Radio Warnings and Weather, this chapter.)

(31) Vessels operating within the limits of the Coast Guard districts can obtain information affecting NOS charts and related publications from the Local Notices to Mariners. Small craft using the Intracoastal Waterway and other waterways and small harbors within the United States that are not normally used by deep-draft vessels will require the Local Notices to Mariners to keep charts and related publications up-to-date. Information for deep-draft vessels can be obtained from the Notice to Mariners published by the Defense Mapping Agency Hydrographic/Topographic Center.

(32) Notices to Mariners may be consulted at Coast Guard district offices, NOS offices, Defense Mapping Agency Hydrographic/Topographic Center offices and depots, most local marine facilities, and sales agents handling charts and related publications.

U.S. GOVERNMENT AGENCIES PROVIDING MARITIME SERVICES

NOTICES TO MARINERS

(33) National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce.-The National Ocean Service provides charts and related publications for the safe navigation of marine and air commerce, and provides basic data for engineering and scientific purposes and for other commercial and industrial needs. The principal facilities of NOS are located in Silver Spring, MD.; in Norfolk, Va. (Atlantic Marine Center); and in Seattle, Wash. (Pacific Marine Center). NOAA ships are based at the marine centers. These offices maintain files of charts and other publications which are available for the use of the mariners, who are invited to avail themselves of the facilities afforded. (See appendix for addresses.)

(34) Sales agents for Charts, the Coast Pilot, Hydrographs of Lake Levels, and Great Lakes Water Levels of the National Ocean Service are located in many U.S. ports and in some foreign ports. A list of authorized sales agents and chart catalogs may be had free upon request from National Ocean Service, Distribution Division (N/ACC3). (See appendix for address.)

(35) Nautical charts are published primarily for the use of the mariner, but serve the public interest in many other ways. They are compiled principally from NOS basic field surveys, supplemented by data from other Government organizations.

(26) Notices to Mariners are published by Federal agencies to advise operators of vessels of marine information affecting the safety of navigation. The notices include changes in aids to navigation, depths in channels, bridge and overhead cable clearances, reported dangers, and other useful marine information. They should be used routinely for updating the latest editions of nautical charts and related publications.

Local Notice to Mariners is issued by each Coast Guard District Commander for the waters under his jurisdiction. (See appendix for Coast Guard districts covered by this volume.) These notices are usually published weekly and may be obtained without cost by making application to the appropriate District Commander.

(28) Notice to Mariners, published weekly by the Defense Mapping Agency Hydrographic/Topographic Center, is prepared jointly with NOS and the Coast Guard. These notices contain selected items from the Local Notices to Mariners and other

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(36) Coast Guard, Department of Transportation.- The Coast Guard has among its duties the enforcement of the laws of the United States on the high seas and in coastal and inland waters of the U.S. and its possessions; enforcement of navigation and neutrality laws and regulations; establishment and enforcement of navigational regulations upon the Inland waters of the United States, including the establishment of a demarcation line separating the high seas from waters upon which U.S. navigation rules apply; administration of the Oil Pollution Act of 1961, as amended; establishment and administration of vessel anchorages; approval of bridge locations and clearances over navigable waters; administration of the alteration of obstructive bridges; regulation of drawbridge operations; inspection of vessels of the Merchant Marine; admeasurement of vessels; documentation of vessels; preparation and publication of merchant vessel registers; registration of stack insignia; port security; issuance of Merchant Marine licenses and documents; search and rescue operations; investigation of marine casualties and accidents, and suspension and revocation proceedings; destruction of derelicts; operation of aids to navigation; publication of Light Lists and Local Notices to Mariners; and operation of ice-breaking facilities.

(37) The Coast Guard, with the cooperation of coast radio stations of many nations, erates the Automated Mutual-assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER). It is an international maritime mutual assistance program which provides important aid to the development and coordination of search and rescue (SAR) efforts in many offshore areas of the world. Merchant ships of all nations making offshore passages are encouraged to voluntarily send movement (sailing) reports and periodic position reports to the AMVER Center at Coast Guard New York via selected radio stations. Information from these reports is entered into an electronic computer which generates and maintains dead reckoning positions for the vessels. Characteristics of vessels which are valuable for determining SAR capability are also entered into the computer from available sources of information.

(38) A worldwide communications network of radio stations supports the AMVER System. Propagation conditions, location of vessel, and traffic density will normally determine which station may

best be contacted to establish communications. To ensure that no charge is applied, all AMVER reports should be passed through specified radio stations. Those stations which currently accept AMVER reports and apply no coastal station, ship station, or landline charge are listed in each issue of the “AMVER Bulletin" publication. Also listed are the respective International radio call signs, locations, frequency bands, and hours of operation. The "AMVER Bulletin” is available from AMVER Maritime Relations, U.S. Coast Guard, Building 110, Box 26, Governors Island, NY 10004-5034, telephone: (212) 668-7764. Although AMVER reports may be sent through nonparticipating stations, the Coast Guard cannot reimburse the sender for any charges applied.

(39) Information concerning the predicted location and SAR characteristics of each vessel known to be within the area of interest is made available upon request to recognized SAR agencies of any nation or vessels needing assistance. Predicted locations are only disclosed for reasons related to marine safety.

(40) Benefits of AMVER participation to shipping include: (1) improved chances of aid in emergencies, (2) reduced number of calls for assistance to vessels not favorably located, and (3) reduced time lost for vessels responding to calls for assistance. An AMVER participant is under no greater obligation to render assistance during an emergency than a vessel who is not participating.

(41) All AMVER messages should be addressed to Coast Guard New York regardless of the station to which the message is delivered, except those sent to Canadian stations which should be addressed to AMVER Halifax or AMVER Vancouver to avoid incurring charges to the vessel for these messages.

(42) Instructions guiding participation in the AMVER System are available in the following languages: Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. The AMVER Users Manual is available from: AMVER Maritime Relations, U.S. Coast Guard, Building 110, Box 26, Governors Island, NY, 10004-5034, telephone: (212) 668-7764; Commander, Atlantic Area, U.S. Coast Guard, Governors Island, N.Y. 10004; Commander, Pacific Area, U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Island, Alameda, Calif. 94501; and at U.S. Coast Guard District Offices, Marine Safety Offices, Marine Inspection Offices, and Captain of the Port Offices in major U.S. ports. Requests for instructions should state the language desired if other than English.

(43) For AMVER participants bound for U.S. ports there is an additional benefit. AMVER participation via messages which include the necessary information is considered to meet the requirements of 33 CFR 160. (See 33 CFR 160.201, chapter 2, for rules and regulations.)

(44) AMVER Reporting Required-U.S. Maritime Administration regulations effective August 1, 1983, state that certain U.S. flag vessels and foreign flag “War Risk” vessels must report and regularly update their voyages to the AMVER Center. This reporting is required of the following: (a) U.S. flag vessels of 1,000 gross tons or greater, operating in foreign commerce; (b) foreign flag vessels of 1,000 gross tons or greater, for which an Interim War Risk Insurance Binder has been issued under the provisions of Title XII, Merchant Marine Act, 1936.

(45) Details of the above procedures are contained in the AMVER Users Manual. The system is also published in DMAHTC Pub. 117.

(46) Search and Rescue Operation procedures are contained in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) SAR Manual (MERSAR). U.S. flag vessels may obtain a copy of MERSAR from local Coast Guard Marine Safety Offices and Marine Inspection Offices or by writing to U.S. Coast Guard (G-OSR), Washington, D.C. 20593-0001. Other flag vessels may purchase MERSAR directly from IMO.

(47) The Coast Guard conducts and/or coordinates search and rescue operations for surface vessels and aircraft that are in distress or overdue. (See Distress Signals and Communication Procedures this chapter.)

(48) Light Lists, published by the Coast Guard, describe aids to navigation, consisting of lights, fog signals, buoys, lightships, daybeacons, and electronic aids, in United States (including Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands) and contiguous Canadian waters. Light Lists are for sale by the Government Printing Office (see appendix for address). and by sales agents in the principal seaports. Mariners should refer to these publications for detailed information regarding the characteristics and visibility of lights, and the descriptions of light structures, lightships, buoys, fog signals, and electronic aids. (49)

Documentation (issuance of certificates of registry, enrollments, and licenses), admeasurements of vessels, and administration of the various navigation laws pertaining thereto are functions of the Coast Guard. Yacht commissions are also issued, and certain undocumented vessels required to be numbered by the Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971 are numbered either by the Coast Guard or by a State having an approved numbering system (the latter is most common). Owners of vessels may obtain the necessary information from any Coast Guard District Commander, Marine Safety Office, or Marine Inspection Office. Coast Guard District Offices, Coast Guard Stations, Marine Safety Offices, Captain of the Port Offices, Marine Inspection Offices, and Documentation Offices are listed in the appendix. (Note: A Marine Safety Office performs the same functions as those of a Captain of the Port and a Marine Inspection Office. When a function is at a different address than the Marine Safety Office, it will be listed separately in the appendix.)

(50) Defense Mapping Agency Hydrographic/Topographic Center (DMAHTC), Department of Defense.- The Defense Mapping Agency Hydrographic/Topographic Center provides hydrographic, navigational, topographic, and geodetic data, charts, maps, and related products and services to the Armed Forces, other Federal agencies, the Merchant Marine and mariners in general. Publications include Sailing Directions, List of Lights, Distances Between Ports, Radio Navigational Aids, International Code of Signals, American Practical Navigator (Bowditch), and Notice to Mariners. (See Defense Mapping Agency Procurement Information in appendix.)

(51) Corps of Engineers, Department of the Army.-The Corps of Engineers has charge of the improvement of the rivers and harbors of the United States and of miscellaneous other civil works which include the administration of certain Federal laws enacted for the protection and preservation of navigable waters of the United States; the establishment of regulations for the use, administration, and navigation of navigable waters; the establishment of harbor lines; the removal of sunken vessels obstructing or endangering navigation; and the granting of permits for structures or operations in navigable waters, and for discharges and deposits of dredged and fill materials in these waters.

(52) Information concerning the various ports, improvements, channel depths, navigable water, and the condition of the Intracoastal Waterways in the areas under their jurisdiction may be obtained direct from the District Engineer Offices. (See appendix for addresses.)

(53) Restricted areas in most places are defined and regulations governing them are established by the Corps of Engineers. The regulations are enforced by the authority designated in the regulations, and the areas are shown on the large-scale charts of NOS. Copies of the regulations may be obtained at the District offices of the Corps of Engineers. The regulations are also included in the appropriate Coast Pilots.

(54) Fishtraps.- The Corps of Engineers has general supervision of location, construction, and manner of maintenance of all traps, weirs, pounds, or other fishing structures in the navigable waters of the United States. Where State and/or local controls are sufficient to regulate these structures, including that they do not interfere with navigation, the Corps of Engineers leaves such regulation to the State or local authority. See 33 CFR 330 (not carried in this Pilot) for applicable Federal regulations. Construction permits issued by the Engineers specify the lights and signals required for the safety of navigation.

(55) Fish havens, artificial reefs constructed to attract fish, can be established in U.S. coastal waters only as authorized by a Corps of Engineers permit; the permit specifies the location, extent, and depth over these “underwater junk piles”.

(56) National Weather Service (NWS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce.-The National Weather Service provides marine weather forecasts and warnings for the U.S. coastal waters, the Great Lakes, offshore waters, and high seas areas. Scheduled marine forecasts are issued four times daily from more than 20 National Weather Service Forecast Offices (WSFOs) around the country, operating 24 hours a day. Marine services are also provided by over 50 National Weather Service Offices with local areas of responsibility. (See appendix for Weather Service Forecast Offices and Weather Service Offices for the area covered by this Coast Pilot.)

(57) Typically, the forecasts contain information on wind speed and direction, wave heights, visibility, weather, and a general synopsis of weather patterns affecting the region. The forecasts are supplemented with special marine warnings and statements, radar summaries, marine observations, small-craft advisories, gale warnings, storm warnings and various categories of tropical cyclone warnings e.g., tropical depression, tropical storm and hurricane warnings. Specialized products such as coastal flood, seiche, and tsunami warnings, heavy surf advisories, low-water statements, ice forecasts and outlooks, and lakeshore warnings and statements are issued as necessary.

(58) The principal means of disseminating marine weather services and products in the coastal areas is NOAA Weather Radio. This network of more than 350 stations nationwide is operated by the NWS and provides continuous broadcasts of weather information for the general public. (See Radio Navigation Warnings and Weather, this chapter.)

(59) NWS marine weather products are also disseminated to marine users through the broadcast facilities of the Coast Guard, Navy, National Bureau of Standards, certain Sea Grant Universities, and commercial marine radio stations. Details on these broadcasts including times, frequencies, and broadcast content are listed in the joint NWS/Navy publication Selected Worldwide Marine Weather Broadcasts. For marine weather services in the coastal areas, the NWS publishes a series of Marine Weather Services Charts showing locations of NOAA Weather Radio stations, telephone numbers of recorded weather messages and NWS offices, and other useful marine weather information.

(60) Ships of all nations share equally in the effort to report weather observations. These reports enable meteorologists to create a detailed picture of wind, wave, and weather patterns over the open waters that no other data source can provide and upon which marine forecasts are based. The effectiveness and reliability of these forecasts and warnings plus other services to the marine community are strongly linked to the observations received from mariners. There is an especially urgent need for ship observations in the coastal waters, and the NWS asks that these be made and transmitted whenever possible. Many storms originate and intensify in coastal areas. There may be a great difference in both wind direction and speed between the open sea, the offshore waters, and on the coast itself.

(61) Information on how ships, commercial fishermen, offshore industries, and others in the coastal zone may participate in the marine observation program is available from National Weather Service Port Meteorological Officers (PMOs). Port Meteorological Officers are located in major U.S. port cities and the Republic of Panama, where they visit ships in port to assist masters and mates with the weather observation program, provide instruction on the interpretation of weather charts, calibrate barometers and other meteorological instruments, and discuss

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