The Palm Beach Harbor Pilots’ Association issued draft restrictions for Lake Worth Inlet, affecting vessel traffic to and from the Port of Palm Beach. Recent soundings show severe shoaling on the centerline and southern half of the Entrance Channel. All vessels are restricted to the maximum operating draft of 30 feet at high water slack and 27 feet at low water. Vessels arriving within 3 feet of the maximum allowable draft for the Port of Palm Beach will be restricted to transiting at high water slack. All drafts are for salt water. Vessels carrying petroleum products are reduced to 29 feet at high water slack and 26 feet at low water slack.
Be advised that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Congressionally approved Channel Improvement Project would limit the severity and amount of shoaling restrictions, the need for annual dredging, and increase the safety factor for all deep draft vessels. Vessels arriving within 3 feet of maximum draft should keep in close contact with the Pilots’ office in case of further restrictions. A dredge is due in the next few weeks.
For more information, contact the Palm Beach Harbor Pilots’ Association at (561) 845-2628 or PBPilots@aol.com.