From the latest issue of the District 7 Notice to Mariners for this week, linked to above:
ATLANTIC OCEAN – FLORIDA – CAPE CANAVERAL: SPACE LAUNCH ZONES (VIRTUAL- AIS PRIVATE AID TO NAVIGATION)
30-34-53N/80-30-00W to beginning
Date: 24 - 30 JAN: 0000-2359 (Local) GUNEX AREA 31J
29-10-00N/79-50-00W to beginning
Date: 24 - 30 JAN: 0000-2359 (Local) GUNEX AREA 27C
29-50-00N/81-00-00W to beginning
Date: 24 - 30 JAN: 0000-2359 (Local) AREA JSWTR (underwater shallow water training range with hydrophones)
Date: 24 - 30 JAN: 0000-2359 (Local) DIPPING AREA 26G
Date: 24 JAN: 0700-2359 (Local) W-138B
PLEASE SEE ADDITIONAL ENCLOSURES AT THE END OF THIS NOTICE
Mariners making plans to transit offshore Cape Canaveral Florida are advised of frequent rocket launch activity and associated launch hazard
areas which may include free falling debris and/or descending vehicles or vehicle components under various means of control. Mariners should
contact Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville at (904) 714-7558 for more information. Specific launch schedule information and Marine Safety
Information Bulletins (MSIB) can be found at the following website Port Directory Content.
Upcoming launch information and Launch Hazard Areas are also posted on the following Patrick Air Force Base website
https://www.patrick.af.mil/ or by calling 1-800-470-7232.
The U.S. Coast Guard has approved the use of a Virtual Automatic Identification System Private Aid to Navigation (V-AIS PATON) to mark a
restricted navigation area during a space launch. The Coast Guard authorized the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, better known as
SpaceX, to use V-AIS PATONs to inform mariners of non-charted restricted zones around launch areas. While the Coast Guard does not approve
V-AIS PATON for all restricted areas, particularly charted ones, the space launch zones are non-charted, dynamic and temporary. Safety zones
are designed to keep vessels from entering the launch area while an active rocket launch is taking place.
The Captain of the Port Jacksonville may activate one or more of the safety zones described in 33 CFR 165.775, typically 45 minutes prior to the
opening of a scheduled launch window. At that time, SpaceX will transmit V-AIS aids marking the corners of the active safety zone. The V-AIS aids
will remain transmitting until the Captain of the Port Jacksonville has deactivated the safety zone. For example, if zone B as described in 33 CFR
165.775(a)(2) were activated, the V-AIS aids would be labeled:
N 28° 48.8’ W 80° 28.9’ (28.813333 -80.481667) N1X33CFR165.775 (A) (2), MMSI# 993663027
N 28° 29.7’ W 80° 18.9’ (28.495000 -80.315000) E2X33CFR165.775 (A) (2), MMSI# 993663028
N 28° 29.7’ W 80° 31.6’ (28.495000 -80.526667) S3X33CFR165.775 (A) (2), MMSI# 993663029
N 28° 40.1’ W 80° 38.4’ (28.668333 -80.640000) W4X33CFR165.775 (A) (2), MMSI# 993663030
If a vessel equipped with AIS is determined to be entering the launch hazard area, an addressed safety message 14 with the text “REGULATED
AREA 33 CFR 165.775 ACTIVE STAY CLEAR” will be transmitted to the vessel. All provisions of the safety zone remain in effect; no person or vessel
may enter, pass through or remain within the safety zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port. Mariners are required to contact the
Coast Guard via VHF-FM channel 16 to arrange for this authorization.
If the Captain had read the above, he wouldn’t caused a delay for SpaceX, including the wasting of propellants and oxidizer.
The Coast Guard is investigating but a significant fine for Royal Caribbean is in order.