Originally Posted by Valiente
And I don't buy that they are uncharted...they would be total hazards to navigation, just like picnic tables, half-sunk deadhead logs, awash tree trunks, and loose containers. And those get reported in coastal waters all the time, usually with decent GPS co-ords.
I just figure the oil companies themselves would issue lat/lons publicly in order to avoid lawsuits. I assume a wellhead could open a tanker or frieghter hull nicely at speed, causing vast ecological damage and worse publicity.
The Platforms, satellites and well heads are charted. Since the that hurricane season over 114 platforms where toppled. Many more the flashing navigation marker lights are out. This latter are being repair as rapidly as possible.
All of the platforms are charted (Keep your charts up dated & corrected)
and if you read your notice to mariners you will find where the jack ups are at. 99% of them are lighted. And the satellites have fog horns also... Even if the manned rigs do not.
But if you want to know where they are at then go to the
Department of Interior, Mineral management service, Gulf of Mexico and you will find all of the Lat/longs of every platform.
On the gulf charts they do show shipping lanes that do not have platforms in them and you can use them also.
But whether sailing the Gulf or working in it, you have to be aware of such navigation hazards. Along with shoals, reefs, coral heads and jetties.
That boat is now a momument to that owner's navigation skills and watch keeping abilities. Rule 5 from Rules of the Road & ColRegs. A lookout must be maintained at all times.
Of course this is one reason I don't like deck sweeper Genoas or jibs. They can hide little things such as ships & platforms. Especially if the watch are to lazy or tired to get up and look around them.
And added note: I've worked the Gulf for years and am aware of the hazards out there. But even if you are new to the Gulf, a proper lookout and tracking your progress on your charts you will be aware of the Navigation hazards around you.
Using radar (its a tool)
helps... but not if it is down below where you can't see it. You may want to have a small generator on board to run all of the electronic/electric navigation tools. Lights, GPS, Loran, radar and Fathometer. throw in a coffee pot also to help keep you awake and alert. Two cups of coffee is equal to one tablet of No-doze.
Safety first always.
Note the Navigation marker lights on those platforms & satellites are up high, two to three stories high. So you need to see everything ahead of you and not just down at the water level.