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    • South Carolina Navigation Alerts

      PLEASE CAREFULLY READ OUR DISCLAIMER!

      Please note that “Alerts” listed in this section are arranged in a rough north to south geographic format.
      “Alerts” are messages from your fellow cruisers which pertain to navigational problems or changes along the waters of the South Carolina coastline. These “Alerts” are real concerns for South Carolina mariners, and might range in subject matter from new shoaling to a missing aid to navigation.
      “Alerts” should be differentiated from our “AICW Problem Stretches” section. “AICW Problem Stretches” are sections of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway that seem to have perennial problems. Even after dredging, shoaling tends to reappear within a relatively short period of time.
      If you have arrived here, seeking information about AICW long-term concerns, be sure to also check out our “SC AICW Problems” section by going to the red, vertical menu on the right side of all Net pages (except Chart View pages). Click on “South Carolina” and a drop down menu will appear. Now, click on “SC AICW Problems.” A page will open listing all the problem stretches along the South Carolina portion of the Waterway

    • Severe Shoaling, AICW Statute Mile 360.5, 9/8/2016


      This area of shoaling is at the northern end of an already narrow channel between the NC/SC state line and Socastee Bridge. This shoaling will be a problem for deep draft vessels. Mid to high tide is recommended.

      SOUTH CAROLINA – MYRTLE GROVE SOUND AND CAPE FEAR RIVER TO CASINO CREEK – LITTLE RIVER-WINYAH BAY: Severe Shoal and Temporary Buoy 22A Established.
      Severe shoaling has been reported in the vicinity of Little River-Winyah Bay Daybeacon 22A (LLNR 33710.5 [33°44.5204N / 078°51.9515W, 33.742006 / -78.865859]) and Daybeacon 25 (LLNR 33735 [33°43.9158N / 078°53.2605W, 33.731930 / -78.887675]). A temporary Buoy 22A has been set in approximate position 33-44.5094N/078-51.9702W (33°44.5094N / 078°51.9702W, 33.741823 / -78.866170) . Little River-Winyah Bay Daybeacon 22A has been temporarily changed from a non-lateral aid to an NW on pile (diamond shape, white day boards with an orange reflective boarder). The approximate width of the channel from the pier on the east side to TEMP Buoy 22A on the west side is roughly 60ft. The pier on the east side is not lit and the width of the channel with the extreme shoaling on the west side poses a serious hazard to navigation. Mariners are advised to use extreme caution while transiting the area. Chart 11502, 11504 LNM 36/16

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Mile 360.5

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    • Shallow Water in Minim Creek Canal, AICW Statute Mile 415, 8/31/2016


      This area of shallow water is at the south end of the Estherville Minim Creek Canal which begins at the Waterway’s exit southward from Winyah Bay.

      SOUTH CAROLINA – AICW – MYRTLE GROVE SOUND AND CAPE FEAR RIVER TO CASINO CREEK – WINYAH BAY – CHARLESTON HARBOR: Depth of Channel.
      The U.S. Coast Guard has found at low-tide depths of less than 5ft of water in the middle of the channel between Winyah Bay-Charleston Harbor Channel Light 4 (LLNR 34120 [33°11.7192N / 079°16.3300W, 33.195320 / -79.272167]) and Winyah Bay-Charleston Harbor Daybeacon 5 (LLNR 34125 [33°11.4410N / 079°16.5012W, 33.190683 / -79.275020]). Mariners are advised to use caution while transiting the area. Chart 11532, 11534 LNM 35/16

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Minim Creek Canal

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    • Severe Shoaling at Entrance to Jeremy Creek, McClellanville, SC, AICW Statute Mile 430, 10/1/ 2013


      Jeremy Creek - Click for Chartview

      Our contact at the US Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District, has just forwarded the most recent (9/27/13) official USACOE survey of depths on Jeremy Creek. While depths have improved slightly over last December’s survey (see /?p=103937), you can see that the center of the channel is c. 3.5ft. However, the survey does show that better depths – 4.9ft – are found on the starboard side of the channel when entering and channel depths improve farther upstream. All depths shown on this survey are corrected for Mean Low Water. Until and if dredging can be accomplished on the southern portion of Jeremy Creek, entrance and exit at times near low water will be relegated strictly to vessels with less than 5ft draft!
      Now, why is this such a big deal? Well, Jeremy Creek provides the only water access to the charming village of McClellanville, South Carolina, and its marina, Leland Oil Company. The shoal depths at the entrance to Jeremy Creek are going to be a real obstacle to visiting both this marina and the adjoining community.
      Fortunately, there is a 5.5 to 6 foot tidal range in this region, so most cruising craft will be able to navigate southern Jeremy Creek near the time of high tide. Of course, having to time your travel around the tides can be a major inconvenience to cruisers.
      Everyone in McClellanville is hoping that the USACOE will dredge Jeremy Creek soon, but, as of this writing, there are no definite plans to do so. Let’s hope this dredging happens soon!
      In the meantime, ALL mariners bent on a visit to McClellanville and/or Leland Oil Company, NEED TO TAKE THIS INFORMATION INTO ACCOUNT!

       

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Jeremy Creek

      Click Here To View the South Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Leland Oil Company Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Leland Oil Company Marina

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    • Shallow Water South of McClellanville Documented, AICW Statute Miles 430-433


      The waterway south of McClellanville all the way to the Ben Sawyer Bridge has been shoaling for years and SSECN still recommends mid to high tide for passage through this section. [As Tom Hale points out below, this should read “at risk of shoaling” for this section. Dredging often lasts only weeks. SSECN is delighted to get reports of good depths from Tom and from Raymond Smith.] See /162153.  Our thanks to Capt. John Wampler for this photo from his GPS which displays 3.5ft between markers 38 and 37 just south of McClellanville. Another picture worth many words!

      This was at high tide!!

      John Wampler

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For McClellanville

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To The Northern Portion of This AICW Problem Stretch

      Comments from Cruisers (3)

      1. Raymond W. Smith - "Fire Dog" -  March 10, 2017 - 6:08 pm

        Was back and forth this winter, no problem. Just check your tides and follow the MARKS and get off the throttle!!!!

        Reply to Raymond
      2. Tom Hale -  March 10, 2017 - 4:07 pm

        You reference that there is shoaling all the way to Ben Sawyer Bridge is out of date. The Isle of Palms stretch near 117 A was dredged in 2015 and that problem area seems to be resolved. I’ve been through 3 times in the last 10 months, and twice since Hurricane Matthew. I do not see any problems in that stretch, and that is over 10 miles south of the McClellanville trouble area.

        Reply to Tom
      3. Mike Cam -  March 8, 2017 - 10:54 am

        Tuesday 7 March 17 McLellanville R42 to G35 about 15min before mlw. Made it through by zig-zagging at 2-3kts searching for water. We draw 4ft but we have a 24ft beam so we need a very wide path.
        Mike Cam

        Reply to Mike
    • Important – Foul Bottom on Wimbee Creek Anchorage, near AICW Statute Mile 523, 6/18/12


      After following the mostly sheltered waters of the AICW running south from Charleston, while cruising to Beaufort, South Carolina, cruisers might well be excused when they exit the southwesterly entrance of the Ashepoo – Coosaw Cutoff, for gasping just a bit at the wide swath of open waters which spread out before them. This mighty body of water is the Coosaw River, which the AICW follows mostly west to the northern entrance of Brickyard Creek (thence south to Beaufort).
      Our very good friends, Captains Mark and Diana Doyle, have obviously explored these waters themselves over the past couple of decades while researching their superb “Managing the Waterway” series of guide books.
      As you will read below, one stream where they had dropped the hook before was Wimbee Creek. This stream cuts off from the Bull River, which itself makes into the Coosaw’s northern flank near Statute Mile 521 (see chart to the above right). HOWEVER A VERY DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE GREETED OUR EXPERIENCED CRUISING DUO ON THIS OCCASION!
      As you will read below, Diana and Mark discovered the hard way that a portion of Wimbee Creek has a very foul bottom. Farther upstream (see below), it’s apparently safe (or at least “safer”) to drop the hook, but the creek’s waters, southeast of charted “Chisolm,” where chart 11518 shows a sounding of “11” feet, are definitely off limits!
      The SSECN is declaring a Navigational Alert for these waters!

      Hi Claiborne,
      On June 10, 2012, we anchored in Wimbee Creek, a popular anchorage off Bull River, running north of the Coosaw River in South Carolina. In 13 feet (MLLW) we deployed a Bruce anchor with 120′ of chain, compensating for the expected additional 7 feet of tide in this area. Like nearly all our surveyed anchorages in Georgia and southern South Carolina, we anticipated high current.
      Unfortunately, within a few hours our ground tackle started behaving abnormally. At first we attributed it to opposing wind and current, but it was soon apparent something more serious and unusual was occurring.
      The wind continued to climb and thunderstorms could be seen advancing so we decided to retrieve the anchor and re-set. We were stopped short at about 60 feet of chain’”in 13 feet of water’”stuck on something so large that any attempts by the windlass or by “running over” the anchor merely pulled our bow down!
      We were stuck, short-scoped, with strong thunderstorm activity predicted throughout the night, but with no choice but to wait for TowboatU.S. to bring a diver the next morning.
      We payed back out the recovered 60 feet of chain and spent an uncomfortable night.
      Roy Stegall, a cruiser on s/v Gideon who works part-time for TowboatU.S. Port Royal, and Gene Clark, an experienced diver, arrived on the scene at 0745 hrs. the next morning. It took Gene a couple of hours of blind handwork in the tannic, murky high current to get control of the situation.
      His report from down-under: A wide area of huge “rocks”‘”which we later determined were likely dumped construction debris from an old foundation’”covered the mud bottom. Some of the chunks were half the size of the TowBoatU.S. vessel! As the strong winds and currents continuously shifted, our chain had actually been pulled UNDER one of these huge boulders, requiring a rolling hitch and hard horizontal yank using the TowBoatU.S. vessel to pop it free.
      This was no ordinary anchor-fouling. The anchor was free and about 20 feet from the boulder. This was a chain-fouling!
      A resident yelled out from his dock that a nearby trawler, anchored further up the creek on what looked like a back-up nylon rode, had just lost its anchor and chain in the same area and was waiting to try to locate it.
      So this area is a serious hazard and has claimed at least two boats.
      The problem site is south of the center of Wimbee Creek, off the second residential dock. Do not anchor anywhere near the first through third docks. Instead, proceed further up the creek, and stay well off the shore.
      The chartlet below shows our new anchored position, the fouled area, and the depths (and tides) we read thoughout this anchorage.
      Our heartfelt thanks to the excellent team at TowBoatU.S. Port Royal for safely turning around what could have been an even worse situation!
      Best and see you On the Water,
      Captains Mark & Diana Doyle
      http://www.OnTheWaterChartGuides.com

      Not To Be Used For Navigation

       

      Did I luck out! Two years ago, I anchored in that exact same spot (well, obviously, not exactly the same; I’d still be there).
      Donovan

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position on Wimbee Creek, Southeast of Chisolm

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    • Report on Depth at AICW Passage Through Southern Ramshorn Creek, AICW Statute Mile 570, June 19, 2013


      Ramshorn Creek - Click for Chartview

      Last year’s shoaling near marker #40 at the southern foot of the Ramshorn Creek, north of Fields Cut, prompted a Navigation Alert and this area remains one requiring keeping a keen eye on your depth. The addition of another marker, as Captain Bell reports, should help.

      Cruising News:
      A red buoy has been added opposite G39. I found that the water depth between the two was less than six feet MLW. I was mid channel when I pass the two markers that are less than 100 feet a part.
      Dave Bell

      We just came thru here at near low tide and quite frankly, I think this spot is worse in some respects than many of the others that get more press (Hell’s gate, Mud River). The red buoy mentioned above is correct, however, at low tide, this buoy was setting on dry ground. As you approach from the south, yo can easily drift too much to the east at `G39’³ and be on bottom, meaning as you pass `G39’³ and think you need to turn to the right (starboard) as you enter the creek, then you are stuck on bottom. But, if you are at above low tide and see the red marker floating there and get too close to it, you are on ground and if a falling tide, then `oops’. This is especially tricky if the winds are blowing either easterly or westerly. We tried to help a boat get off, but it was too windy, but fortunately for him, it was a rising tide. We passed within 5′ of him (yes, five feet) and had 7.5 feet. only a few feet away is the red marker (nun).
      John Winter

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at the AICW’s Route Through Southern Ramshorn Creek

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    • Shoaling Confirmed in Northern Fields Cut, AICW Problem Stretch, Statute Mile 574, 8/20/2014


      The intersection of Northern Fields Cut and the Wright River lies north of the intersection of the Waterway and the Savannah River. Shoaling at this Problem Stretch has always been an issue and, even with last year’s dredging, shallow depths might be expected. This new Local Notice confirms earlier reports of severe shoaling as reported on May 21st, see /?p=141095.

      SOUTH CAROLINA-AICW-BEAUFORT RIVER TO ST SIMONS SOUND-FIELDS CUT: SHOALING
      There is shoaling directly in the middle of the AICW in Fields Cut. A depth of 2FT was reported in approximate position 32-05.185N/080-56.022W (32°5.1850N / 080°56.0220W, 32.086417 / -80.933700) during low-tide and poses a hazard to navigation. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area. Chart 11507 LNM: 33/14

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For Northern Fields Cut

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Northern Fields Cut

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Ray Schmidt -  August 22, 2014 - 8:34 pm

        Subject, Northern Fields Cut shoal

        FYI, 3 years ago, coming north in the spring, a barge/push boat were coming up behind me so I idled on the side and told the tug captain that I would wait until he passed since I was not familiar with this area. He said I would have no problems as he passed and then he went aground. By the time he managed to push the barge through the shoal, there was a line of boats behind him and me. I called him and thanked him for moving the shoal for us.

        Reply to Ray
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