Because of its shifting channel and the required frequent dredging, Green Only markers in the St. Augustine Inlet have sometimes been a source of confusion. This new lighted red marker will be a big improvement. Our thanks to Commissioner Jay Bliss for his Port Meeting report and to Chuck Baier and Susan Landry for the article below by Stuart Korfhage in the St. Augustine Record.
Selected proceedings at yesterday’s Oct 14 2014 Port meeting: USCG Chief Bosun Mike Tomasi reported our USCG has finally been able to allocate a Large LIGHTED RED channel marker #6 for the StAugustine Inlet channel. Until last Thursday, mariners entering our inlet at night had no red lighted markers, only green ones. Thus a few unintentional landings on Porpoise point over the years….
New illuminated marker should make for safer boating in St. Augustine Inlet
Posted: November 5, 2014 – 10:54pm
By STUART KORFHAGE
Master mariners might still use the stars to chart their course, but boaters slipping through the St. Augustine Inlet at night now have an even better aid.
Last month, at the urging of the St. Augustine Port, Waterway and Beach District, the U.S. Coast Guard added a lighted red buoy (No. 6) to keep boaters from accidentally running aground at Porpoise Point.
There are already reflective red markers and lighted green markers that show boaters the safest way to enter the Inlet. But without the illuminated red marker, night trips by those unfamiliar with the area have led to costly failures to navigate the Inlet.
“The Inlet is not a good inlet to go in and out of without local knowledge, and it’s more challenging at night,” said Sam Adukiewicz, harbormaster at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina. “The new marker will definitely make it better.”
Commissioner Jay Bliss of the St. Augustine Port, Waterway and Beach District said one of the dangers of the old setup was that captains would sometimes line up between the green markers of the Inlet and illuminated marker No. 60.
The problem with red No. 60 is that it’s actually in the Intracoastal Waterway, not the Inlet. And lining up with the Inlet greens and the ICW No. 60 will put a boat right into the sand.
“You see green on the left, and on the right side you don’t see squat at night,” Bliss said of entering the Inlet before the new marker. “A lot of people have wound up landing at Porpoise Point, and it’s been a pretty tricky maneuver.”