Posted   03-15-2019 18:15    


The Captain of the Port (COTP), Delaware Bay, is notifying mariners that the Philadelphia to Sea Dredging Maintenance Project has completed dredging operations in the Marcus Hook Range **and anchorage No. 7. Dredging operations will continue in New Castle Range. Traffic patterns within Marcus Hook Range have returned to normal and all safety zones within the anchorage have been removed. Safety zone one remains in effect for the duration of the maintenance project.**

Safety zone one includes all the waters within a 250 yard radius of the dredge ESSEX and all associated dredge equipment operating in or around New Castle Range and Deepwater Point Range. Vessels are advised to ensure safe passage by contacting the dredge ESSEX 1 hour prior to arrival. This safety zone will be in place for the duration of the dredging project.

The dredge ESSEX can be contacted via VHF FM channel 13. Vessels are reminded to exercise extreme caution when operating in the vicinity of dredging operations.

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard
Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay
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Posted   02-04-2019 13:56    
MSIB 03-19


The Captain of the Port, Sector Delaware Bay, has observed an increase in the number of groundings by deep draft vessels within the Sector Delaware Bay Captain of the Port Zone. A majority of these groundings have occurred while the vessel was at anchor. These groundings have caused vessel’s significant delays and increase the risk of marine pollution within the port.

Standing a vigilant anchor watch is key to identifying signs of a dragging anchor and taking early action to avoid a vessel grounding. Mariners should choose anchorage grounds with the impact of current and predicted weather patterns in mind. Weather can change quickly within the Delaware River and Bay, mariners are encouraged to employ proactive measures such as keeping engines in immediate standby, utilizing two anchors, or utilizing assist tugs if conditions warrant. Making the necessary arrangements to mitigate the impact of any adverse conditions is vital to the safety of navigation on the Delaware River and Bay.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this bulletin, please contact the Waterways Management staff at (215) 271-4814/4889 or the Command Center at (215) 271-4807.

S. E. Anderson
Captain, U.S. Coast Guard
Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay
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Posted   10-30-2018 14:34    
MSIB 41-18


Recently, there have been multiple incidents within Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay’s zone of deep draft vessels touching bottom while attempting to berth or while moored and conducting cargo operations. Regardless of the circumstance, if any part of a vessel touches bottom it is considered a “grounding” and is a Reportable Marine Casualty as outlined in 46 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 4.05. All unintended or intended groundings must be reported to the nearest Coast Guard Sector Office immediately after addressing resultant safety concerns by the owner, agent, master, operator or person in charge.

Additionally, groundings are also considered a “hazardous condition”. A hazardous condition is any condition that may adversely affect the safety of any vessel, structure, or shore area or the environmental quality of any port, harbor, or navigable water way. It may, but need not, involve collision, allision, fire, explosion, grounding, leaking damage, injury or illness of a person aboard, or manning-shortage (33 CFR 160.202). In accordance with 33 CFR 160.214, whenever there is a hazardous condition on board a vessel, or caused by a vessel, or its operation., the owner, agent, master, operator or person in charge must immediately notify the nearest Coast Guard Sector Office.

Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay reminds mariners that an e-mail to the USCG is not considered a satisfactory form of immediate notification of a marine casualty or hazardous condition since e-mail may not always be monitored. The best method to notify us is either through a phone call or radio transmission to the Sector Delaware Bay Command Center. The 24/7 Sector Delaware Bay Command Center can be reached at (215) 271-4807 or via VHF Ch. 16.

Failure to report any grounding as a marine casualty or hazardous condition to the nearest Coast Guard Sector Office may result in a maximum fine of $91,901 and/or possible administrative action against a merchant mariner credential.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this bulletin, please contact my Investigations staff at

K. A. Clarke
Captain, U.S. Coast Guard
Acting Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay
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Posted   10-17-2018 17:43    
MSIB 38-18

The Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay advises all vessels transiting the Mid-Atlantic Ocean that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has established regulations to implement a 10-knot speed restriction for all vessels 65 ft (19.8 m) or longer in certain locations along the east coast of the U.S. Atlantic seaboard at certain times of the year. These regulations are designed to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales by reducing the likelihood of collisions between ships and whales.

The 10-knot speed restriction will extend out to 20 nautical miles around major mid-Atlantic ports. According to NOAA researchers, about 83 percent of right whale sightings in the mid-Atlantic region occur within 20 nautical miles of shore. The speed restriction also applies in waters off New England and the southeastern U.S., where whales gather seasonally.

The speed restrictions apply in the following approximate locations at the following times; they are based on times whales are known to be in these areas:
- Southeastern U.S. from St. Augustine, FL. to Brunswick, GA from November 15 to April 15
- Mid-Atlantic U.S. areas from Brunswick, GA to Rhode Island from November 1 to April 30
- Cape Cod Bay from January 1 to May 15
- Off Race Point at northern end of Cape Cod from March 1 to April 30
- Great South Channel of New England from April 1 to July 31

Specifically for vessels entering the Delaware Bay, the restriction applies in the following location: Within a 20-nm (37 km) radius (as measured seaward from COLREGS lines) of the center point of the entrance to the Delaware Bay (Ports of Philadelphia and Wilmington): 38°52′27.4″ N–075°01′32.1″ W.

For more information about the speed restriction please visit the NOAA website or call Sector Delaware Bay Waterways Management Branch at (215) 271-4889.

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard
Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay

This release has been issued for public information and notification purposes only.
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Posted   08-17-2018 19:01    
MSIB 30-18 (Attachment can be found at:

Potential Interference of VHF-FM Radio and AIS Reception

The U.S. Coast Guard has received reports from crews, ship owners, inspectors and other mariners regarding poor reception on VHF frequencies used for radiotelephone, digital selective calling (DSC) and automatic identification systems (AIS) when in the vicinity of light emitting diode (LED) lighting on-board ships (e.g., navigation lights, searchlights and floodlights, interior and exterior lights, adornment).

Radio frequency interference caused by these LED lamps was found to create potential safety hazards. For example, the maritime rescue coordination center in one port was unable to contact a ship involved in a traffic separation scheme incident by VHF radio. That ship also experienced very poor AIS reception. Other ships in different ports have experienced degradation of the VHF receivers, including AIS, caused by their LED navigation lights.

You can find more information about this issue, the procedures to test for the presence of LED interference, and how to report problems with LED interference by reading Safety Alert 13-18 (attached to this MSIB) or by visiting the webpage below.

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard
Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay
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Posted   08-03-2018 18:14    

The President of the United States signed into law the Transportation Worker Identification Credential Accountability Act of 2018 (HR.5729). This prohibits the U.S. Coast Guard from implementing the rule requiring electronic inspections of Transportation Worker Identification Credentials until after the Department of Homeland Security has submitted an assessment of the TWIC program to Congress.

The Office of Port and Facility Compliance (CG-FAC) will provide additional information regarding the impacts of this law, the current lawsuit, and the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the near future.

If you have further questions or concerns they should be directed to the Sector Delaware Bay Facilities Branch at (215) 271-4864.

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard
Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay
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Posted   03-01-2018 15:53    
MSIB 11-18


This MSIB is issued to address the issuance of an initial Certificate of Inspection (COI) for 46 CFR Subchapter M inspected towing vessels that utilize the Towing Safety Management System (TSMS) option. Those seeking an initial COI by utilizing the Coast Guard option will be addressed in a future MSIB.

Those companies choosing the TSMS option must have a Coast Guard approved third party organization (TPO) conduct independent verifications to assess whether their TSMS complies with the requirements of subchapter M. Sector Delaware Bay will be issuing COIs in accordance with this MSIB effective immediately.

Owners and operators electing to utilize the TSMS option may submit requests for COIs to the local Officer in Charge, Marine Inspections (OCMI) along with the below required information, as outlined in 46 CFR 136.210. NOTE: Priority will be given to vessels that have a valid Uninspected Towing Vessel (UTV) decal.

Submission requests must include the following to initiate the COI process:

1. Thirty days prior to the vessel undergoing the initial inspection for certification, owners and managing operators must submit Form CG-3752, "Application for Inspection of U.S. Vessel," to the cognizant OCMI where the inspection will take place.
2. Vessel Particulars, including length, beam, depth, hull construction, etc.
3. A manning proposal.
4. Vessel route and operating conditions.
5. TSMS Certificate issued by a TPO at least six months prior to the scheduled initial COI issuance date. Compliance with ISM may also be used IAW CG-CVC Policy Letter 17-02 dated May 24, 2017, "Use Of Existing Safety Management Systems To Obtain An Initial Certificate Of Inspection Under 46 CFR Subchapter M."
6. Objective evidence of compliance with the TSMS certificate.
7. A report in accordance with 46 CFR 137.135 and 137.202(a) stating the vessel`s structure, stability, and essential systems comply with Subchapter M, including a statement that the vessel is fit for the intended route and service.
8. A valid Certificate of Documentation.
9. If applicable, Fresh Water Intent Letter for hull exam intervals as per 46 CFR 137.300 (a).

NOTE: Objective evidence may include, but is not limited to, summaries of TPO independent verifications, audit findings, marine surveyor reports, and/or professional engineer certification.

At OCMI discretion, towing vessels possessing a valid UTV decal issued in the Sector Delaware Bay zone may not require Coast Guard Marine Inspectors to physically attend the vessel prior to COI issuance.

If you have any questions regarding the contents of this bulletin or to schedule a Subchapter M Vessel inspection, please contact the Inspections staff at (215) 908-9827 or

S. E. Anderson
Captain, U.S. Coast Guard
Officer in Charge, Marine Inspections
Sector Delaware Bay
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