As a result of the Baton Rouge gauge reading 12 feet and 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:
Industry Navigating and Operating on the LMR:
- 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.
- Commercial vessel operators shall be aware of falling river-level conditions and monitor Coast Guard safety broadcasts announcing known navigation hazards. Tow sizes and vessel drafts from cargo loading should be adjusted as necessary to meet increasingly shallow channel depths.
- Pilots and Masters of oceangoing vessels should review facility docking procedures prior to arrival in port.
- All vessels should transit in the charted navigational channel to the greatest extent possible.
- Towing companies should consider staffing vessels with their most experienced crews.
Movement of Vessels in the Vicinity of 81 Mile Point, LMR MM 177-179:
- 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.
- 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.
For further information, contact the following:
CG Marine Safety Unit Baton Rouge Waterways Management: (225) 281-2875 CG Vessel Traffic Service Lower Mississippi River (24 hours): (504) 365-2230, VHF-FM Ch. 5A, 12, or 67 CG Sector New Orleans Command Center (24 hours): (504) 365-2200
CAPT W. E. WATSON
Captain of the Port, New Orleans