Navigation Notice: Tennessee River

?Self Help? Program and Lockage Procedures for Wilson Lock,
Tennessee River Mile 259.4


NOTICE NUMBER: 18807 / 22-07
EFFECTIVE: 03/04/2022 09:56 thru 03/04/2023 09:56 CST


Self Help lockage Procedures for Wilson Auxiliary Lock:


  1. Industry will be permitted to use the voluntary services of any towboats that are waiting in queue on either end of the lock, to expedite lockages by assisting other tows to land along approach walls, re-arrangements of set-over tows, and pulling out barges of nonpowered cuts. Additionally, tows in queue may assist on a voluntary basis by allowing other tows to lie alongside while preparing to lock or making for departure. All towboats are to stay with their tows while waiting lockage unless volunteering to assist other tows through the lock.


  1. When industry is providing the volunteer helper boat, the locking sequence may be changed, if the lockmaster determines it would be expedited traffic or improve safe operations.


  1. The procedure of locking first-come-first-served will be followed when less than three tows are waiting above or below the lock.

CELRN-OP-N 12-15, SUBJECT: “Self Help” Program and Lockage Procedures for Wilson Lock


  1. It will be necessary for tows to follow one another on the guide wall when a series of lockages are being made in one direction. Each tow should be aware of the tow that it follows and be on the guide wall as soon as that tow enters the lock chamber. The Lockmaster may vary this procedure as required by conditions at the lock. While this practice will speed up the lockage process, it is imperative that tows exercise extreme caution.


  1. When a workable queue exists, vessels will contact the lock on Channel 13 to advise that they have arrived and are available to assist as a helper boat. Thereafter, information concerning lockage will be broadcast on Channel 14 unless advised otherwise by the Lockmaster. Towboats that so not answer the radio call from the lock will be dropped to the end of the waiting line.


  1. No adding or dropping of barges will be allowed once the tow in is queue. All towboats assisting with locking will provide adequate personnel to assist in locking during complete lockages. Towboat personnel shall be relieved when needed or when safety becomes an issue.


  1. All up bound tows locking at Wilson Auxiliary that are considered jumbo barges, or 54’ X 295’ in size, will approach the lower chamber one barge at a time due to the limited space available on the lower approach.


  1. Participation in the “Self-Help” program is strictly on a volunteer basis for the sole purpose of reducing delay time to industry at Wilson Auxiliary Lock. The Lockmaster or his representative will call a particular boat by radio and advice of the need for volunteer action indicated above. This advice shall not be considered an order or a direction for action within the authority of the Lockmaster under 33 CFR 207.300. No captain, pilot or other responsible person in charge of the vessel is obligated to respond, except as a volunteer. The United States assumes no liability for the transmission of such advice and shall not be responsible for any consequences of this volunteer action. All navigators are urged to cooperate fully to accomplish maximum efficiency in transiting all locks in this district. Those vessels that refuse to help in the lockages will move to the back of the line in queue. All pilots are requested to provide the necessary number of personnel aboard their vessels to ensure that manpower is available to safely transit the locks. All priority requests will be submitted with the proper form (attached) to the Priority Committee. CELRN-OP-N 12-15, SUBJECT: “Self Help” Program and Lockage Procedures for Wilson Lock