USCG MSIB 056 – Baton Rouge Low Water Safety Advisory 12 ft Falling

The below/attached MSIB addresses low water safety procedures for the LMR MM 167.5 to MM 303.0. Also attached is the 81-Mile Point regulations addressing check-in procedures.

LOW WATER SAFETY ADVISORY: MM 167.5 TO MM 303 AHP LMR (12′ and falling)

  1. As a result of the Baton Rouge gauge reading 12 feet and expected to continue falling, the COTP New Orleans has issued a Safety Advisory
    for all waters of the Lower Mississippi River (LMR) from Mile 167.5 Above Head of Passes (AHP) to Mile 303 AHP.
    This safety advisory is needed to protect vessels and mariners from hazards associated with low water, including possible shoaling and decreased channel widths.
    This safety advisory is effective immediately with the following provisions:
  2. Industry Navigating and Operating on the LMR
    1. All towing vessels in the vicinity of College Town Light (MM 225 to MM 228.3) are advised to keep the main shipping channel clear and provide a wide berth to deep-draft vessel traffic.
    2. Commercial vessel operators shall be aware of falling river-level conditions and monitor USCG safety broadcasts announcing known navigation trouble spots.
      Cargo loading and/or vessel draft, as well as tow size, should be adjusted accordingly to meet shallowing channel depths.
    3. Pilots and Masters of oceangoing vessels should review the facility’s docking procedures prior to arriving at the facility.
    4. All vessels should transit in the charted navigational channel to the greatest extent possible.
    5. Towing companies should consider staffing vessels with their most experienced crews.
  3. Movement of Vessels in the Vicinity of 81 Mile Point, LMR MM 177-179:
    1. In accordance with 33 CFR 161.65(e) (See attached), all vessels moving or intending to move in the 81 Mile Point VTS Special area shall comply with the reporting requirements detailed in the VTS Lower Mississippi River User Manual or in 33 CFR 161.65 by contacting “New Orleans Traffic” on VHF FM Channel 05A.
    2. Mariners are also advised of the increased possibility of shoaling in this area and should use extreme caution while transiting.
      Report missing aids to navigation to the Sector New Orleans Command Center.
  4. For further information, contact the following:
    Coast Guard Baton Rouge Waterways Management: (225) 298-5400 X230
    Coast Guard Baton Rouge Officer of the Day: (225) 281-4789
    Coast Guard Sector New Orleans Command Center: (504) 365-2200

81 – Mile Point 33 CFR 161.65(e)

(e) Additional Eighty-one Mile Point VTS Special Area Operating Requirements. The following additional requirements are applicable in the Eighty-one Mile Point VTS Special Area:

(1) Prior to proceeding upriver past 167.5 miles AHP, Sunshine Bridge, vessels must contact VTS New Orleans on VHF Channel 5A to check-in. Vessels must provide name and destination, confirm proper operation of their auto- mated identification system (AIS) if required under 33 CFR 164.46, and, if applicable, size of tow and number of loaded and empty barges. At 173.7 miles AHP, Bringier Point Light, ascending vessels must contact VTS New Orleans and provide a follow-on position check. At both check-in and follow-on position check, VTS New Orleans will ad- vise the vessel on traffic approaching Eighty-one Mile Point.

(2) Prior to proceeding downriver past 187.9 miles AHP COS–MAR Lights, vessels must contact VTS New Orleans on VHF Channel 5A to check-in. Vessels must provide name and destination, confirm proper operation of their AIS if required under 33 CFR 164.46, and, if applicable, size of tow and number of loaded and empty barges. At 183.9 miles AHP, Wyandotte Chemical Dock Lights, descending vessels must contact VTS New Orleans and provide a follow-on position check. At both check-in and follow- on position check, VTS New Orleans will advise the vessel on traffic approaching Eighty-one Mile Point.

(3) All vessels getting underway between miles 167.5 and 187.9 AHP must check-in with VTS New Orleans on VHF Channel 5A immediately prior to getting underway and must comply with the respective ascending and descending check-in and follow-on points listed in paragraphs (e)(1) and (2) of this section.

(4) Fleet vessels must check-in with VTS New Orleans if they leave their respective fleet or if they move into the main channel. Fleet vessels are not required to check-in if they are operating exclusively within their fleet.

LOW WATER SAFETY ADVISORY:
MM 167.5 TO MM 303 AHP LMR (12′ and falling)

  1. As a result of the Baton Rouge gauge reading 12 feet and expected to continue falling, the COTP New Orleans has issued a Safety Advisory for all waters of the Lower Mississippi River (LMR) from Mile 167.5 Above Head of Passes (AHP) to Mile 303 AHP. This safety advisory is needed to protect vessels and mariners from hazards associated with low water, including possible shoaling and decreased channel widths. This safety advisory is effective immediately with the following provisions:
  2. Industry Navigating and Operating on the LMR
    1. All towing vessels in the vicinity of College Town Light (MM 225 to MM 228.3) are advised to keep the mainshipping channel clear and provide a wide berth to deep-draft vessel traffic.
    2. Commercial vessel operators shall be aware of falling river-level conditions and monitor USCG safety broadcasts announcing known navigation trouble spots. Cargo loading and/or vessel draft, as well as tow size, should be adjusted accordingly to meet shallowing channel depths.
    3. Pilots and Masters of oceangoing vessels should review the facility’s docking procedures prior to arriving at the facility.
    4. All vessels should transit in the charted navigational channel to the greatest extent possible.
    5. Towing companies should consider staffing vessels with their most experienced crews.
  3. Movement of Vessels in the Vicinity of 81 Mile Point, LMR MM 177-179:A. In accordance with 33 CFR 161.65(e), all vessels moving or intending to move in the 81 Mile Point VTS Special area shall comply with the reporting requirements detailed in the VTS Lower Mississippi River User Manual or in 33 CFR 161.65 by contacting “New Orleans Traffic” on VHF FM Channel 05A.

    B. Mariners are also advised of the increased possibility of shoaling in this area and should use extreme caution while transiting. Report missing aids to navigation to the Sector New Orleans Command Center.

  4. For further information, contact the following:Coast Guard Baton Rouge Waterways Management: (225) 298-5400 X230 Coast Guard Baton Rouge Officer of the Day: (225) 281-4789
    Coast Guard Sector New Orleans Command Center: (504) 365-2200