Notice to Mariners for Chart Corrections and Updates – Important!!
NGA Notice to Mariners Search Screen
Once upon a time the US Coast Guard provided weekly “Notice to Mariners” publications which included important information about planned maritime events, changes to aids to navigation, and warnings of potential hazards affecting all of the boating community. With the explosion of internet access and potential cost savings, the “US Notice to Mariners” function was shifted to an on-line on-demand format managed by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). The question we get is “How do I get the Notice to Mariners for my charts?”
Answer: Through the NGA Notice to Mariners search window. If you only need chart corrections for one or two charts, the easiest way is to select “All” under “Search for NTMs” and then “Specific Charts” and entering the numbers for the charts you need. The result is a report that can be printed directly from the screen, or a text file that can be saved for later use. Remember, however, that the Notice to Mariners will only list updates for the most current edition of the chart — is that the one you have? If not, better get a new chart!
Second question: “Why bother?” Answer: “Winter Storm Sandy. Hurricane Katrina. Some barge just wiped out the end of the jetty, and took the jetty light with it.” Need any more? Even when you think you know all the obstacles and safe channels in your local waters, you may not have heard about a light that moved, or was damaged, or was somehow changed from what you remember. Textbooks have been written on the things that go wrong when people depend on bad or outdated charts. The prudent mariner will take a few minutes to get the corrections and updates, and avoid becoming a case study in one of those books!