Northwest storm knocks out aids to navigation

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(SEATTLE) — Coast Guard aids to navigation crews are responding to several damaged navigational aids this week, following a weeklong storm that pummeled the Pacific Northwest coast.

The ATON crews are working to repair or replace at least 10 affected aids to navigation to ensure safe and continued transit of commerce throughout the region.

Multiple buoys, which can weigh more than 40,000 pounds each, were blown off station, jetty lights were extinguished, and the Yaquina Bay South Jetty Light 4 — an 8-to-10-foot-tall lighted metal pole — was destroyed by the storm's high winds and heavy seas.

"These navigational aids are the streetlights that direct maritime traffic and allow the safe and efficient flow of commerce," said Lt. Cmdr. Michele Schallip, chief of waterways management for the Coast Guard 13th District. "Our crews are working hard in the small weather windows to get these buoys and beacons back online as quickly as possible, especially with more winter storms on the way."

ATON teams in the Pacific Northwest tend 1,800 federal aids on 22 waterways.

By Professional Mariner Staff