Safe Navigation Is Easy When You Ask Captain Chris

Courtesy of Capt Baughn of Fernandina Beach Fire Department. Boat on Rock Jetty

Local Knowledge Is Important But…

Safe Navigation is easy when you Ask Captain Chris. Some seasoned boaters have become comfortable in their local waters, having followed the crowd enough to know where to go.  Local knowledge is important but you need more when cruising away from your home port. You need to learn Safe Navigation. Understand what you might encounter while on the water. Learn tides, currents and the water bottom – sandy, rocky, muddy- where you are boating.

But is it enough for just the captain to know? Get your crew involved. Take a class together. Many new boaters enroll in Boating Courses even before they find their perfect boat. Sometimes a refresher course like our Navigation Made Easy training video is just the trick to stay safe. Safe Navigation is easy when you Ask Captain Chris.

Prepare for your cruise by looking at charts, taking notes and planning alternative routes or timelines if things don’t happen as you expected. Weather and breakdowns are two considerations that come to mind. And, when you are cruising in new-to-you waters, previewing your route is essential.

Safe Navigation Is Easy When You Ask Captain Chris…

We post real world boating concerns on our daily YouTube and Facebook videos. Many of you comment with questions to learn more. And occasionally one of our viewers will share something that helps others to stay safe. Today we received this important note from a fellow boater but also a First Responder who probably has many stories to share. Please look carefully at the photos after his comments to get the best perspective of why it’s essential to know before you go. Safe Navigation is easy when you Ask Captain Chris:

…or Captain Baughn:

Hey Capt Baughn here with the Fernandina Beach Fire Department. Over the past 5 years or so we have had a LOT of boats hit the 2 jetties in our area. The Fernandina and the Cumberland Sound Jetties form a secure path for submarines stationed at Kings Bay Naval Station. These Jetties are amazing for fishing and keeping the Channel clear and deep (50ft.) in some areas. However, these jetties extend very very far east from the coast line. My understanding is they extend further east than any other jetties by far. And the are not marked very well.

Over the past 5 years or so I would estimate that no less than 25 large cruising vessels have hit these jetties amounting to millions of dollars in damage to their vessels and some minor injuries. Fortunately no loss of life yet. My purpose for contacting you is to pass the word to the many many new and experienced boaters that you have contact with on a regular basis who may travel up and down the eastern seaboard. Yesterday morning we had another incident in which a 52ft. luxury yacht hit the Cumberland jetty and tore its prop off and it began taking on water. We were able to successfully rescue the souls on board and tow the boat in for repair. I am sure you are aware of these jetties but thought it was worth while to reach out and ask that you pass the word. Let me know if you have any questions and if you are ever in Fernandina and want a tour of our local fire department let me know! Stay safe!

Be Aware. Be prepared.

Thanks so much to Captain Baughn and the Fernandina Beach Fire Department for getting the word out. So much to know before you go cruising. Inlets are one of the many considerations to fully understand before you set out on unfamiliar waters.

See the photos below showing the Jetty location that Captain Baughn mentions as well as another often partially submerged jetty in South Carolina. These are only two examples for the careful boater to consider. Consult your charts well in advance of your travels to identify these and other navigational hazards.

Ask Captain Chis about Navigation and trip planning. Join us at a class or watch our Navigation Made Easy video for a brush up. Safety first and the fun follows.