Coast Guard: Carolina Beach Inlet unsafe to navigate, boaters travel ‘at their own…

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A 2019 Army Corps of Engineers’ surveys of Carolina Beach Inlet showed water depths shallower than four feet in some regions. (Port City Daily photo / U.S. Coast Guard)

CAROLINA BEACH — After recent surveys showed Carolina Beach Inlet had a water depth of less than four feet in some areas, the U.S. Coast Guard is removing navigation aids from the channel.

The inlet, located between the north end of Freeman Park and the southern edge of Masonboro Island, was surveyed by the Army Corps of Engineers. That survey showed “significant shoaling” that makes the passage unsafe, according to the Coast Guard.

Starting on April 1, 2019, the Coast Guard will “temporarily discontinue” 10 navigational aids in the inlet.

“The buoys are intended to mark safe areas of passage with known depths. Leaving the buoys in place may lead mariners through an unsafe route. Boaters who choose to transit the inlet without buoys, do so at their own risk,” according to the Coast Guard.

“The safety of mariners is our first priority. Right now, the waterway is unsafe to navigate due to extreme shoaling and currents. Once  it is safe to navigate the channel, we will reestablish the aids to navigation,”  Cmdr. Heather Stratton, chief of prevention for Sector North Carolina, said.

The Corps of Engineers survey is available here.

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