Coast Guard Urges Caution on ICW While Dive Team Works on Channel Marker Replacements

Work Begins The Week of July 15 in Local Waters
By GINA G. SCALA | Jul 11, 2019
Photo by: Elijah Reynolds

Surf City, NJ — Caution. That’s the word the Coast Guard wants the public to remember when they’re operating boats and other watercraft on the Intracoastal Waterway between Toms River and Cape May while it replaces channel markers with seasonal buoys. The project began this Monday, July 15, and is expected to last until the middle of August.

“As we start in the north and work our way south, we ask boaters to operate at a safe speed, and remain in the center of the channel,” Senior Chief Boatswain’s Mate Elijah Reynolds, officer in charge of Aids to Navigation Team Cape May, said. “Mariners are urged to use extreme caution while operating in the vicinity of dive operations.”

Boaters causing wakes or coming too close to divers can cause a potentially dangerous situation for workers above and below the water. Coast Guard members will be providing boaters with numerous signals that they are conducting operations such as diver-down flags, day markers, lights and VHF-FM Channel 16, as well as a broadcast to mariners.

Broken channel markers are believed to have caused two separate boating accidents in the ICW off Long Beach Island Memorial Day weekend. In June, the Coast Guard’s Aid to Navigation team employed a pilot-program of temporary fixes, consisting of the placement of new foam buoys over the broken channel markers. There are roughly 10 such temporary fixes in local waters, where a majority of the hazardous channel markers are located. —G.G.S.

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