Skip to main content

New Orleans

Go Search
All Ports
New Orleans
Nola Calendar
New Orleans > Pages > Notices  


Web Part Error: A Web Part or Web Form Control on this Page cannot be displayed or imported. The type could not be found or it is not registered as safe.



 Port Updates


 Daily Port Update

Subject:Mississippi River Currents Daily Report for Wednesday May 20, 2020
Date:Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Mississippi River Currents - 09/09/19

Fm: Moran Shipping Agencies Nola


To: All Concerned


Good day,


Please find below Mississippi River daily report for May 20, 2020               


Subscribe / Unsubscribe to Daily Port Updates


A Daily Publication of the New Orleans Board of Trade<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:125%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:black"> 08:20 hrs. - 05/20/2020

New information<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020"> (Except for the Air Draft, River Stages, and Vessel Information)<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020"> is highlighted in Green<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020">

Coronavirus Quick Reference:<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:125%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif">
<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">Over the past several weeks, numerous notices have been sent to the membership regarding the Coronavirus Pandemic.  Below is a quick summary of requirements that are currently in place due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.  This is a very fluid situation and requirements could be put in effect or change with very little advance notice.  Please continue to monitor your e-mail for updates.
<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:125%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:red">Coast Guard:
MSIB 11-20:<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:125%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif"> Provided information concerning Maritime Personnel being considered Essential to the Economy and Well Being of the United States.

MSIB 09-20:<span-family:"Helvetica",sans-serif"> <span-size:10.5pt;line-height:125%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif">Provided guidance on Port State Control (PSC) Exams and COC Exams.

MSIB 06-20: Vessel Reporting Requirements for Illness or Death:<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:125%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif">
<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">Illness of a person onboard a vessel that may adversely affect the safety of a vessel or port is a hazardous condition per 33 CFR 160.216and the owner, agent, master, operator, or person in charge must immediately notify the nearest Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP). It is critical to report persons who exhibit symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or other illness to the COTP.  .Additionally, as required by42 CFR 71.21, the master of a ship destined for a U.S. port shall report immediately to the quarantine station at or nearest the port at which the ship will arrive, the occurrence, on board, of any death or any ill person among passengers or crew (including those who have disembarked or have been removed) during the 15-day period preceding the date of expected arrival or during the period since departure from a U.S. port (whichever period of time is shorter) .Guidance and forms to report deaths and illnesses to the CDC can be found at:  The CDC Houston Quarantine Station, which has jurisdiction over the Mississippi River can be reached at (281) 230-3874 (24 Hours).
In addition to notifying Coast Guard and CDC, please also notify CBP, and all three pilot associations as well as our office.<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:125%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif">
<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">MSIB XX: Issue 035: Vessel Precautions:
<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">Provided information to all vessels concerning precautions to be taken prior to arrival.
Customs and Border Protection:<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:125%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif">
<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">Southern Currents: 20-030: Maritime Crew in Transit (C1) will not be allowed to self-quarantine in a hotel prior to joining a vessel.

<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">Southern Currents: 20-028: <span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">Provided payment information for entrances/clearances filed electronically.  Also provided information for the submission of Cargo Declarations.

<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:125%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif">Southern Currents: 20-024: <span-size:10.5pt;line-height:125%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif">Provided procedures for filing a vessel’s entrance and clearance via e-mail. 

Southern Currents: 20-023<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:125%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif">
<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">Maritime Crew will be remanded to the vessels until further notice.  (Clarification: Crew are allowed off the vessel to check lines, draft, etc for the safety of the vessel.  These vital functions should be in the immediate vicinity of the vessel only.)
Pilot Associations:  Please note if the below procedures are not followed, pilotage services could be denied.<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:125%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif">
<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">The Bar Pilots Dispatchers are asking the following one hour prior to pilot boarding:  Does any  crew member have symptoms of Coronavirus including  a fever of 100.4 degrees or greater, cough, trouble breathing or body aches. Additionally have you complied with Captain of The Port, New Orleans, MSIB Volume XX issue:035, COVID-19 Vessel Precautions, Dated March 17, 2020?
<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:125%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif">In order to streamline the operational processes and provide periodic reinforcement of the best practices advocated by the USCG in MSIB Volume XX issue:035, COVID-19 Vessel Precautions, Dated March 17, 2020, the following procedures will be followed when ordering a pilot for shifting, berthing or sailing in all Pilot (BAR, CRPPA, NOBRA, Federal) navigational jurisdictions:<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:125%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif">
Step 1.<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif"> - Vessel agent shall contact ship’s Master to confirm the following:
<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">1.) No crew member has symptoms of Coronavirus including: a fever of 100.4 degrees or greater,<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif"> trouble breathing;or<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif"> body aches;and<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif">

<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020">2.) The vessel has received, read, and will comply with Captain of The Port, New Orleans, MSIB Volume XX issue:035, COVID-19 Vessel Precautions, Dated March 17, 2020.<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020">
Step 2.<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif"> The agent copies (cc) the pilot dispatch on an email from the Agent to the Master confirming Master’s representation that:
1.) No crew member has symptoms of Coronavirus including:

a fever of 100.4 degrees or greater,<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif"> trouble breathing,or<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif"> body aches;and<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif"> <span-size:10.5pt;line-height:125%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif">2.) The vessel has received, read, and will comply with Captain of The Port, New Orleans, MSIB Volume XX issue:035, COVID-19 Vessel Precautions, Dated March 17, 20202.)

Step 3<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:125%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif">. - Vessel agent contacts Pilot dispatch and orders a pilot.

Pilot Dispatch Email Addresses:<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:125%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif">
<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">BAR Dispatch –
<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">CRPPA Dispatch –
<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">NOBRA Dispatch –
<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">Federal Pilots Dispatch –

<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">Nobra is requesting that agents and facilities reduce the detention time to a bare minimum. This will cut the time a pilot is onboard and in contact with crew members. This reduction in onboard time will lessen the chance of exposure to themselves and others.   It will also help Nobra supply industry with a rested pilot in a timely manner.  Nobra’s resources are stretched thin because of high river levels. During this emergency, it makes no sense for pilots to be sitting at a dock for multiple hours. It is just a waste of manpower.

<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">We are asking for everyone’s cooperation. If this cannot be done voluntarily, we will have to consider reducing the mandatory detention time.
<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:red">State of Louisiana:
<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:125%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:black">On March 22, 2020, Governor Edwards issued a "stay at home" proclamation.  Maritime business is considered essential by DHS and therefore can continue there normal day to day operations.<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:125%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif">

<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">Mississippi River Condition Update:

The Controlling Draft for Deep Draft Vessels is 44 Feet.<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020">

<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:red">There are signs of shoaling in Southwest Pass, especially just below the Head of Passes. In addition, there is also shoaling in the vicinity of Cubit's Gap.  There is currently one cutterhead dredge and three hopper dredges working in Southwest Pass. <span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:red;mso-fareast-language:KO">The Corps of Engineers has advised that there is up to 30 feet of material at some of the crossings above New Orleans.  As the river level falls, reductions in the NOBRA Pilots recommended loading are possible.  <span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020"> <span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:red">    <span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020">

Bar Pilots<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020">
Recommended loading draft  for Southwest Pass is 44 feet.

<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">Crescent Pilots:
Recommended loading draft for their area of the river is 44 feet. <span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:red">Due to the Carrollton Gauge Reading over 12 Feet, Mooring/Unmooring operations at buoy systems and facilities that require a line boat are restricted to daylight only.<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020">

<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">NOBRA Pilots
Current recommended loading draft is as follows: 47 feet from New Orleans to Mile 180; 45 feet from Mile 180 to Mile 234.<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif"> Current recommended loading draft is as follows: 47 feet from New Orleans to Mile 180; 45 feet from Mile 180 to Mile 234.  <span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:red">The following high water restrictions are currently in place.  <span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020">

1.  Daylight Docking/Undocking at midstream transfer facilities and any berth that requires the use of a mooring boat.  <span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020">

2.  Vessels with a draft of 35 feet or greater anchoring in the NOBRA area of responsibility shall maintain a pilot onboard while at anchor.<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020">

<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:red">Any vessel operating within the NOBRA route (i.e. MM 88 AHP through 234 AHP) identified as a High Interest Vessel ("HIV") by any federal authority, state authority<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:red"> <span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">and/or the Board of Examiners at a minimum, shall only operate under the following conditions:
<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">A. Two pilots working simultaneously as a team; and
B. Daylight only operations<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020">

<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">Federal Pilots:
Draft recommendation for the Mississippi River is 43 feet.

The above draft recommendations were received this morning. As conditions can change, you should always check with the pilots prior to loading.

Lower Mississippi River Bridges Air-Draft Calculations: <span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020">

The above clearances were calculated this morning using gauge readings provided by the Army Corps of Engineers. As a guide the pilots require at least an additional 3 feet of clearance for the Vessel's Air Draft.  The individual pilot assigned to the vessel will make the final determination of the vessel's allowable clearance.  Actual clearance should be verified when ordering pilot services.  

River conditions change continuously; therefore, actual conditions should be verified before utilizing this information.

NOAA PORTS INFORMATION<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020">
To Access the NOAA Ports System for the Lower Mississippi River, go to the following link: <span

U.S. Coast Guard Notices:<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020">
Waterway Status - VTS Measure MM 190.0 - 191.5 AHP LMR White Castle Anchorage Closure<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020">

Vessel Traffic Service Lower Mississippi River (VTS LMR), in accordance with the Navigation Safety Regulations, Code of Federal Regulations Title 33, Subpart 161.11, will establish a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) Measure for the waters of the Lower Mississippi River from Mile Marker (MM) 190 Above Head of Passes (AHP) to MM 191.5 AHP.  This Measure is needed to protect persons and vessels from the potential safety hazards associated with U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) dredging operations at Alhambra Crossing and White Castle Anchorage. Effective at 9:00 a.m. local time on May 21, 2020, vessels shall not enter the White Castle Anchorage or the area extending 700 feet into the river from the right descending bank, between MM 190 and MM 191.5. This VTS Measure will remain in effect as long as the dredging operations are taking place at this location. All vessels are prohibited from entering this area without permission from the Captain of the Port New Orleans or designated representative. The U.S. Government Dustpan Dredge JADWIN will be working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and will give way to vessels using the waterway. The Dredge can be contacted on either VHF channel 16 or 67. Mariners are urged to transit at their slowest safe speed to minimize wake and proceed with caution after passing arrangements have been made.

CARROLLTON GAUGE AT 15 FEET AND FALLING:<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020">
This Marine Safety Information Bulletin supersedes Volume XX Issue 040 (Carrollton Gauge 15’ and rising), originally published on March 25, 2020.
When the Carrollton Gauge indicates a Mississippi River Stage of 15 feet on the fall: 
The following requirements will no longer be in effect:
1. 33 CFR 165.810 (d)(2) prohibits vessels from entering South Pass from the Gulf of Mexico if it has a speed of less than 10 miles per hour.  This paragraph does not apply when Southwest Pass is closed to navigation.
2. A U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) Measure is being established in accordance with the Navigation Safety Regulations, Code of Federal Regulations Title 33, Subpart 161.11, for all waters of the Lower Mississippi River from the Southwest Pass Entrance (SWP), to Mile 255 Above Head of Passes (AHP).  Until further notice, vessel-to-vessel cargo transfers are prohibited unless specifically approved in advance by the Captain of the Port (COTP).  This temporary VTS Measure restricts the cargo transfers authorized in designated anchorages as noted 33CFR110.195, and also restricts all barge-to-barge mid-stream cargo transfers.
This VTS Measure does NOT restrict
1. Vessel-to-vessel transfers which take place at a Coast Guard regulated facility.
2. Bunkers or the delivery of ships stores.
3. Cargo operations which take place in a designated and established mid-stream buoy system.
Anyone wishing to conduct vessel-to-vessel cargo transfers not specifically exempted as noted above, should contact the Sector New Orleans Facility Compliance Branch at (504) 365-2370 or by e-mail at
The following regulations remain in effect:
1. For all vessels operating in the Lower Mississippi River (LMR) below Mile Marker (MM) 233.9 Above Head of Passes (AHP), including South Pass and Southwest Pass, additional high water requirements are found in Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 165.810(b)(2).
2. For barge fleets located between MM 88 and MM 240 AHP, additional high water requirements are found in 33 CFR 165.803(m).
3. For all other barge fleets (below MM 88 and between MM 240 and MM 254.5 AHP), a U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) Measure is established in accordance with 33 CFR 161.11, to enhance the safety of barge fleets. The 33 CFR 165.803 regulations requiring stricter barge fleeting standards on the LMR are extended to include all barge fleets in these areas.
4. In accordance with 33 CFR 161.65, the Governor Nicholls Harbor Traffic Control Light 94, Gretna Harbor Traffic Control Light 97, and the Westwego Traffic Light 102 are energized.
5. The Harbor Traffic Control Lights are located at:
Governor Nicholls Light, MM 94.3, AHP, Left Descending Bank (LDB), LMR (LLNR 13855/34770),
Gretna Light, MM 96.6, AHP, Right Descending Bank (RDB), LMR (LLNR 13880/34795), and
Westwego Traffic Light, MM 101.4, AHP, RDB, LMR (LLNR13950).
6. The Governor Nicholls Navigation Light 94 and the Gretna Navigation Light 97 will be extinguished while Traffic Control Lights are operating. 
7. Downbound vessels: Check in with Vessel Traffic Service Lower Mississippi River (call sign “New Orleans Traffic”) no lower than the Huey P Long Bridge, MM 106.1, AHP (SHIPS and TOWS), and the Marlex Terminal, MM 99.0, AHP (SHIPS and TOWS). 
8. Upbound vessels: Check in with “New Orleans Traffic” no higher than the Algiers Canal Forebay, MM 88.0, AHP (SHIPS), Industrial Canal, MM 92.7, AHP (SHIPS and TOWS), and Crescent Towing Smith Fleet, MM 93.5, AHP (TOWS). 
9. In accordance with 33 CFR 160.111 (c), the COTP has determined that during periods of high water, unless moored to a shore side facility or mooring buoys, all deep draft vessels must have three means to hold position.  An example would be two fully operational anchors and the propulsion system. Should a vessel lose an anchor or suffer a propulsion casualty, and the vessel does not have redundant capabilities available, such as aft anchors or two main engines, then a third means of holding position could be via tug assist.

HIGH WATER SAFETY ADVISORY: VTS Measure at MM 167.5 to MM 234 AHP LMR (40' and Falling)<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020">
When the Baton Rouge gauge reads 40 feet and falling, a U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) Measure is established in accordance with the Navigation Safety Regulations, Code of Federal Regulations Title 33, Subpart 161.11, for all waters of the Lower Mississippi River (LMR) from Mile 167.5 Above Head of Passes (AHP), to Mile 234 AHP.  This VTS Measure is needed to protect persons and vessels from the potential safety hazards associated with the effects of high water levels on the Lower Mississippi River. This Measure is effective at 6:00 A.M. on Saturday, May 09, 2020 with the following provisions.

Port Allen Lock LMR MM 219-229 1. All tows >600' (excluding towboat) are to employ an assist vessel of at least 1200 HP when entering or exiting the locks.  2. All tows exiting Port Allen Lock into the LMR intending to turn northbound shall use an assist vessel of at least 1200 HP or proceed southbound below MM 221 if topping around unassisted before heading north.  3. Approval must be granted by VTS prior to exiting Port Allen Lock and turning northbound. 4. All tows are required to have 280 HP per standard loaded barge on canal tows entering/exiting the Locks. Empty barges may be calculated at ½ the horsepower requirements to that of a loaded barge when computing the overall horsepower requirement. Towing vessels with Z-drive propulsion type may be treated as having a horsepower 20% greater than its engine's rating for the purpose of this calculation. 5. VTS has authority to grant exceptions to these requirements up to 400 HP based on conditions and the size of the tow. Tows Topping Around between Duncan Point and the HWY 190 Bridge including Harbor Fleet Tows MM 221 - 234 1. Tows less than 300 feet in length are recommended to use a minimum 800 HP assist vessel when topping around. 2. Tows greater than 300 feet in length but less than 600 feet are recommended to use a minimum 1000 HP assist vessel when topping around. 3. Tows greater than 600 feet in length are recommended to use a minimum 1800 HP assist vessel when topping around. Ocean Going Vessel requirements, Baton Rouge Harbor (MM 225-234): 1. Ocean going vessels must use tug escorts with adequate horsepower alongside while transiting above the I-10 Bridge to the dock, as well as departing the dock and transiting downbound past the I-10 Bridge.  2. Only one ocean going vessel at a time will be allowed to be underway between the I-10 Bridge and the US-190 Bridge. 3. Ocean going vessels shall not anchor in the upper half mile of the Baton Rouge General Anchorage.  The Pilot must notify VTS if it is necessary to anchor any vessel in the remainder of the anchorage. 4. Ocean going vessels must contact VTS Baton Rouge Watch on VHF FM Ch. 12 with ETA to Richard Powell range light (MM 218.4) and check in again at MM 219. 5. Ocean going vessels departing this area must contact VTS prior to getting underway. Dangerous Eddies: 81-Mile Point, Bringier Point, & Plaquemine Point 1. Vessels are prohibited from holding up within ¾ of a mile of 81 Mile Point on the LDB. 2. All tows should stay 300-400 feet off the left descending bank within ½ mile of 81-mile point   (MM 178-179) to avoid dangerous eddies. 3. Mariners are advised to proceed with caution in the vicinity of Bringier Point (MM 172-173) and Plaquemine Point (MM 206-208) where dangerous eddies have been previously reported. 4. Although the above locations have had eddies specifically reported, mariners are advised to be continuously on the lookout for irregular currents which may pose a threat to navigation throughout the LMR. This Marine Safety Information Bulletin supersedes Volume XIX, Issue 039 High Water Safety Advisory: MM 167.5 to MM 254.5 AHP LMR Above 40'. 

Mississippi River Stage Projection - Based of 2 Days of Forecast Rainfall- <span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020">

<span-family:"Arial",sans-serif">Mississippi River - NOLA Projection-  Based off 16 Days of Forecast Rainfall (Experimental)-

Weather Information<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020">
15-Day Weather Forecast:<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020">

New Orleans area 15-Day Forecast:<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Helvetica",sans-serif;color:#202020"> <span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Helvetica",sans-serif;color:#202020">  Baton Rouge area 15-Day Forecast:   Fog Forecast:   National Information Marsec Level – 1

Vessels Scheduled to Arrive in the Next 24 Hours.<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020">

Vessels Scheduled to Depart in the Next 24 Hours<span-size:10.5pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;color:#202020">



Noticed posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2020