8/2/2018: Do you know how to report waterway hazards?

Submitted by Lt.j.g. Vincent Nitopi, Coast Guard Navigation Center

To keep our nation’s waterways open and safe, the Coast Guard relies on the input of the maritime community to self-report hazards to navigation, such as discrepant buoys and beacons, or debris. The Navigation Center would like to remind all waterway users, whether professional mariners or recreational boaters, of several options to report waterway hazards:

• Call your local Coast Guard command center via VHF radio
• Call the Navigation Center at (703) 313-5900
• Use the Aids to Navigation Discrepancy Report found on the Navigation Center’s website
• Use the Coast Guard boating safety app

Launched in 2015, the Boating Safety Mobile app was designed to help increase safety and awareness within the maritime community. The app was not designed to replace a marine VHF radio, which the Coast Guard strongly recommends all mariners have aboard their vessels.

One of the interactive features of the boating safety app is the ability to easily report hazards. With the help of the public, 176 hazard reports were generated in 2017 and over 70 reports have been generated so far in 2018. Once a report is filed, it is sent to the Navigation Center, which in turn works with the local Coast Guard units in the affected area.

The app also provides several other useful features, such as:

•Latest safety regulations
•Navigation Rules
•Find the nearest NOAA buoy
•Report pollution
•Report suspicious activity
•Request emergency assistance
•Report a hazard
•Request a vessel safety check
•Check your safety equipment
•File a float plan

The app, created by BastaYaPR with the Coast Guard, is free to download through the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.


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