USCG: HSC Navigation Width Change between Lights 51/52 and Lights 53/54

Mariners are reminded that the new Houston Ship Channel width (700 feet) tapers into the previous channel width (530 feet) between Lights 51/52 and Lights 53/54, respectively. Mariners are advised to proceed with vigilance as they accustom themselves to the new channel dimensions and note where the old channel dimensions meet the new channel dimensions. Further, the aids to navigation from Lighted Buoy 25 and inbound to Lights 51/52 are in new positions along the wider, 700 ft channel.

There have been two reports of hydrodynamic effects resulting in negative vessel interactions between Lights 51/52 and Lights 53/54. Mariners should take into account the new channel dimensions, tapering of the channel between Lights 51/52 and 53/54, location of the new aids to navigation, and their vessel electronic chart display and information systems (ECDIS ) as they maneuver, meet, and overtake vessels in this area.

Marine Safety Information Bulletins 13-23 and 19-23 are attached for reference.