Coast Guard to remove New Pass navigational markers

Shoaling has led to hazardous conditions for boaters, the Coast Guard says

An aerial map shows New Pass between Lido and Longboat Keys. Image from Google Maps

This week, the U.S. Coast Guard was scheduled to remove the New Pass navigational markers because of hazardous conditions in the channel, the service reported in a news release.

New Pass, which is one of the three channels leading into Sarasota Bay, cuts just between Lido and Longboat keys, north of Mote Marine Laboratory, a news release points out.

“Due to unpredictable weather, an exact date of navigational marker removal is not determined,” the release says. However, a notice to mariners was expected to be broadcast before the removal began and after it was completed, the release added.

“We re-established this channel in September 2016 after dredging was complete,” said Chief Warrant Officer Darren Pauly, aids to navigation officer for Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, in the release. “In nine months, the channel has become unsafe due to shoaling that was intensified following the major storms during the 2016 hurricane season. Significant shoaling is causing hazardous conditions for boaters and the Coast Guard can no longer safely mark the ‘best water’ in this channel. Aids to navigation will not be returned until the conditions improve,” Pauly noted in the release.

The Coast Guard expected to remove nine New Pass channel buoys. The following aids will be disestablished or removed, the release points out:

  • New Pass Channel Buoy 1 (21590).
  • New Pass Channel Buoy 2 (21595).
  • New Pass Channel Buoy 2A (21598).
  • New Pass Channel Buoy 3 (21599).
  • New Pass Channel Buoy 3A (21600).
  • New Pass Channel Buoy 4 (21603).
  • New Pass Channel Buoy 5 (21605).
  • New Pass Channel Buoy 5A (21610).
  • New Pass Channel Buoy 6 (21612).

Officials also planned to convert two channel lights into “Danger Shoal” markers “with quick, white flashing lights” visible for 3 nautical miles, the release pointed out. Both are detailed on Page 53 in the Coast Guard’s recent local notice to mariners.

The following aids will be renamed, the release continues: New Pass Channel Light NP (1345) will be renamed “New Pass Shoal LT A,” and New Pass Channel Light 7 (21620) will be renamed “New Pass Shoal LT B.”