Hydrographic Survey: Piscataqua River

Estimated to take place August 2nd for 1 -2 days

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ship Ferdinand R. Hassler will be conducting hydrographic survey operations on the Piscataqua River, on or around August 2, 2020.  The survey will take approximately 1-2 days (24-hour operation).  100% of the survey area is in the federal channel.  The hydrographic survey will be used to ensure safe passage of deep draft vessels after a 14’ aluminum skiff sank on the river.  The data will be used to update the nautical chart for the safety of navigation.

The Hassler will be transiting to and from the survey area to its homeport in New Castle, NH.  Vessels transiting Portsmouth Harbor are not responsible for gear taken while transiting on range while within, on approach to, or departing from Portsmouth Harbor.

A map showing the planned survey area is attached.  These planned survey operations are subject to change due to weather and logistical constraints.  It is the intent of NOAA to coordinate with local regulatory authorities and the lobster license holders, so survey operations can be conducted with minimal interference to lobster fishing.

A hydrographic survey of this type requires that Ferdinand R. Hassler use multibeam sonar systems and will acquire detailed data of the bottom, delineating and obtaining least depths of potential hazards to navigation.  The survey operations do not use tow nets, trawl nets, or anything that touches the seafloor.

Additional Information: 

  • NOAA Ship Ferdinand R Hassler will be surveying with approximate line spacing of 400 to 500 meters, which can be modified on the fly to avoid gear and address sea state.
  • The track lines will be determined based upon weather and site conditions.
  • Survey Vessel – Click this link for more information about the NOAA Ship Ferdinand R. Hassler
  • LOA: 87 ft
  • Draft: 63 ft
  • Breadth: 81 ft
  • The safety zone around the vessel is generally 1 nautical mile; however, with the complex nature of the survey area, it is recommended to contact the ship on VHF Channel 16 or by phone if necessary.

Piscataqua Survey Contacts: 

The navigation manager is the primary contact for public relations, gear claims, coordinating gear information, and obtaining the hydrographic products from this survey.  The project manager is the primary contact for survey planning and collaboration efforts.  In the case of an emergent issue, the ship can be reached by cell at 603-812-8748.  The ship will be visible on AIS.

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