Caution

BRIDGES: Lower Cooper River Bridge airdraught 56.6m MHW.
Upper Cooper River Bridge (North Charleston Terminal only), airdraught 45.7m MHW.

WHALES: To help reduce incidents of ships striking North Atlantic Right Back Whales, which are an endangered species, speed restrictions are in place from approximately mid November to mid April each year, in specified Seasonal Management Areas (SMAs) along the coast of Florida up to Nova Scotia. One of these areas covers 20nm from the shore around the port of Charleston. Intentionally approaching within 457m (500 yards) of Right Whales is prohibited and is a violation of Federal Law.
Any incident involving a whale accidentally struck by a vessel, sighting of a dead whale carcass or of an injured or entangled whale, should be reported immediately to the Coast Guard or NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service noting the precise location, date and time of the accident or sighting. Telephone + 1 866 7556622 for reports to NOAA for the area from Virginia to Maine, or +1 877 9425343 (877-WHALE-HELP) for the area from North Carolina to Florida.
In the event of a strike or sighting of a dead, injured or entangled whale, the following information should be provided:

1.Location
2.Date and time of impact (or sighting of carcass or an entangled whale).
3.Speed and course of vessel at time of incident.
4.Name of vessel and specifications (Size and propulsion).
5.Water depth at location of incident.
6.Environmental conditions at site of incident, such as visibility, windspeed and direction.
7.Description of impact and damage caused to whale.
8.Fate of whale (deceased or just injured).
9.Species and size of whale (if known).

This information is important not only for research and conservation purposes but for the safety of other vessels in the areas where such incidents occur.

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