The Coast Guard issued a warning Thursday to mariners of shoaling near the center span of the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge at Oregon Inlet, N.C.
A survey conducted this week by the Army Corps of Engineers noted water depths as low as two feet in the federal navigation channel that runs through the main bridge span.
Shoaling, driven by the recent nor’easter, has accelerated during the last two weeks with water depths dropping in the channel from 18 feet to less than three feet. Deeper draft vessels are not able to safely navigate the channel and should use alternate routes.
All mariners are urged to exercise extreme caution in the area and limit their transits to high water tidal periods. Continued shoaling may force shallow draft vessels to seek alternate waterways to access the Atlantic Ocean.
For information, including recent inlet depths, visit the Army Corps of Engineers website.