The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:
(WILMINGTON, N.C.) —The Coast Guard temporarily discontinued 12 navigational aids Monday in Bogue Inlet, near Emerald Isle and Swansboro.
Heavy shoaling in the vicinity of Bogue Inlet has grown over recent months making the waterway inaccessible to vessels with a draft greater than three feet. The aids to navigation (ATON) no longer safely mark the channel and mariners transiting through Bogue Inlet do so at their own risk.
The ATON listed below have changed and currently do not accurately mark the waterway, which can be more dangerous to mariners than having no ATON:
* Bogue Inlet Buoy 6A (LLNR 29525)
* Bogue Inlet Buoy 7 (LLNR 29530)
* Bogue Inlet Buoy 8 (LLNR 29535)
* Bogue Inlet Buoy 10 (LLNR 29540)
* Bogue Inlet Buoy 11 (LLNR 29550)
* Bogue Inlet Buoy 12 (LLNR 29555)
* Bogue Inlet Buoy 13 (LLNR 29557)
* Bogue Inlet Buoy 14 (LLNR 29559)
* Bogue Inlet Buoy 15 (LLNR 29560)
* Bogue Inlet Buoy Lighted Buoy 16 (LLNR 29563)
* Bogue Inlet Buoy 17 (LLNR 29565)
* Swansboro Coast Guard Channel Junction Buoy CG (LLNR 29605)
The Army Corps of Engineers plans to return to the inlet to conduct additional dredging in June, after which time the Coast Guard will re-establish the ATON.
“The Coast Guard is responsible for providing navigational systems, information and services that enable safe navigation,” said Lt. Eunice A. James, chief of the Waterways Management Division at Sector North Carolina. “We will continue to work with federal, state and local partner agencies to address safety concerns to waterway depth and safe placement of navigational aids.”
Consult the Local Notice to Mariners, 5th Coast Guard District for the latest positions and status of ATON at: http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lnmDistrict®ion=5
To report any ATON discrepancies, shoaling, or hazards to navigation, please contact the Sector North Carolina Command Center at (910) 343-3882.
The U.S. Coast Guard will continue to monitor the conditions of the waterway and update mariners as necessary.