NAV ALERT: Shoaling/Buoy Confusion Reported South of Fernandina, FL AICW Statute Mile 719.5
Reports of shoaling south of Fernandina Beach have been coming in for several years prompting numerous comments. Shoaling with a shifting channel and the resulting USCG relocation of ATONS leads to frequent confusion, even among local boaters. The troublesome area lies c. two miles south of Fernandina Beach harbor just north of the Waterway’s turn into Kingsley Creek. See Update on ATONs from 2018. Our thanks to Larry Shick for this Alert.
The local TowBoat/US operator was doing a land-office business today pulling boats (including us) off the sandbars of the Amelia River south of Fernandina. The current NOAA S57 charts show markers (south to north) 1B, 1A, and 1. 1B is waaay off to the west. The advice from the local TowBoat/US operator for northbound boats is to favor the east side of the channel, ignore 1B, then pass 1A and 1 within about a boat length, leaving them to starboard as you would any northbound green, and then you’re good to go up the river from there. We got some misleading?/confusing?/incomplete? “local knowledge” which told us to pass northbound close to marker 1, with no mention of 1A, and we wound up on the putty as a result at near low tide.