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Notice to Mariners

Important. We are soliciting cooperation of marine community to safeguard offshore automated weather buoys that provide critical information, including wind speed and direction, pressure changes, and other key data about marine conditions and developing storms along the NC coast.

The North Carolina Coastal Ocean Observing System (NCCOOS) and the Department of Marine Sciences of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) is seeking the co-operation of all mariners operating in the NC coastal ocean (specifically Raleigh Bay and North of Cape Hatteras) to help safeguard the NCCOOS buoys and shore based moorings against vandalism. The NCCOOS buoys provide near real-time oceanographic and weather data necessary for the protection of the marine environment off the coast of southeastern North Carolina. Data from these buoys are used by NCCOOS, Department of Marine Sciences at UNC-CH for weather modeling, monitoring and response purposes, the US Coast Guard for search and rescue operations, the National Weather Service (NWS) for marine weather forecasts and warnings, commercial as well as recreational fishermen, pleasure boaters and researchers from around the country. The buoys form an integral part of the southeastern regional coastal ocean observing system, which is part of the national Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). Data are transmitted to the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC).

NCCOOS requests the assistance of the marine community in helping to safeguard these buoys. There are a number of specific ways in which the marine community can be of service.

  • Never tie up to a buoy. There is fragile instrumentation both above and below the surface of the water, which can be easily damaged. The buoys are lightly moored so they can be dragged off location causing a hazard to navigation.
  • Give the buoys a wide berth to avoid entanglement of nets or other equipment in the subsurface mooring system. Each buoy has a watch circle equal to approximately 1.5 times the water depth. Vessels towing nets, seismic or other equipment should stay at least 300 yards from the buoys. Other vessels at least 20 yards.
  • Call 1-919-962-1253 or 1-919-962-1252 if you notice a buoy damaged or drifting, or if you inadvertently entangle the mooring with your equipment.
  • Report any vandalism to NCCOOS at the above phone number. This includes vessels tied off to buoys or any observation of people causing vandalism.

NCCOOS operates two buoys which look identical, B1/NDBC 41062 (35° 46.692 N, 075° 05.679 W) and B2/NDBC 41063 (34° 46.939 N, 075° 56.469 W). The NCCOOS buoys are yellow in color with yellow and blue hull and equipped with an external radar reflector as well as a white flashing light, a suite of metrological sensors and four solar panels. They are 6 feet in diameter and extend 12 feet above the water surface. They are visible on radar at ranges of 1-2 NM depending on weather conditions. The buoys extend below the surface to subsurface sensors and mooring systems fabricated from heavy chain and cable, which could damage boats or fishing equipment. 

This chart display can be used for planning or analysis tool and may not be used as a navigational aid.

Charted Locations of NCCOOS Buoys B1 and B2
Charted Buoy Locations


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