ATCHAFALAYA RIVER-STOUTS PASS
- All mariners are advised of extensive shoaling and narrow channel width in the vicinity of Stouts Pass, Atchafalaya River Mile Marker (MM) 113 to Mile Marker 117. MM 115.5-117, in particular, pose significant navigation challenges. In addition, hydrographic surveys revealed active underwater exposed pipelines that cross Little Island Pass posing a potential hazard to navigation and the environment. Therefore, Little Island Pass, Middle Island Pass, and Riverside Pass are closed to commercial vessel traffic. The following Captain of the Port (COTP) restrictions remain in effect from Atchafalaya River Mile Marker 113 to Mile Marker 117:
- All Mariners must check in with VTS Berwick Bay at MM 110 on the Atchafalaya River.
- Vessels shall not meet or overtake between these mile markers.
- All tows shall have a draft no greater than 10 feet.
- All tows shall have a length no greater than 600 feet and no greater width than 70 feet. Additionally, any tows with a length greater than 400 feet are required to utilize an assist vessel while transiting between these mile markers. Assist vessels may lead the transit at a safe distance to assist the tow locate favorable navigation conditions, but shall remain in a position to provide immediate assistance.
- Vessels are highly recommended to use the alternate Port Allen route.
- Vessels transiting through shallow water at increased speeds further reduce their under-keel clearance. It is highly recommended all vessels transit at bare steerage speed through the area.
- Marine Safety Information Bulletin 016-22 is cancelled and superseded by this alert.
- The Coast Guard sets advisories based on the information obtained from the hydrographic surveys conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers. These surveys should be considered during voyage planning and can be found here:
- https://www.mvn.usace.amy.mil/ under Missions > Navigation > Channel Surveys
- Be advised that hydrographic surveys show water depths at the time of the survey and shoaling in this area changes daily. In addition, mariners should not rely on buoy locations to mark shoaled areas. All Mariners transiting through Morgan City should report any hazards to navigation to Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service Berwick Bay at (985) 380-5370.
- Conducting proper navigation assessments, or voyage planning, is critical for mariners to be aware of known hazards to be encountered during a voyage. Vessels found to be in violation of any federal law or regulation may subject the owner/operator to civil penalties. Credentialed mariners that violate this COTP navigation restriction or federal law or regulation may be subject to Suspension and Revocation action.
- To access all MSIBs in the COTP Houma Zone visit: https://homeport.uscg.mil/port-directory/Houma
- T. O’Brien
Captain, U.S. Coast Guard
Captain of the Port