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April 7, 2022

New Buoys off the Coast of South Carolina Supporting Ship Operations and Harbor Pilots

Buoys are located 19 NM SE of Charleston harbor entrance moored in 60 f (18.3m) of water. Image credit: UNCW CORMP

Two new buoys deployed near the entrance to the Port of Charleston are supporting ship operations and harbor pilots with much needed data. The buoys are maintained by UNCW Coastal Ocean Research and Monitoring Program and funded by IOOS and SECOORA. 

Below is a list of data provided by the colocated buoys. Data is updated every hour.

  • CHR60 (NDBC 41066):  Wind speed, Wind gust, Wind from direction, Water temperature, Salinity,  Air temperature, Air pressure, and Humidity
    • GPS Location: 32°32.164’N, 079°39.355’W
  • CHR60WAVE (NDBC 41076): Wave Height, Dominant Wave Period, Mean Wave Direction, and Water Temperature
    • GPS location: 32°32.173’N, 079°39.531’W

Click here for CHR60 and CHR60WAVE data.

Partnerships to Fill Gaps

Ports, a major sector of the blue economy, rely on data provided by buoys. These new buoys are collecting valuable weather and sea state data for ships being moved into and out of the Charleston Harbor.

“The new buoys CHR60 and CHR60WAVE are already providing valuable weather and sea state data for ships transiting into and out of Charleston Harbor. This is important meteorological and oceanographic information to help aid in safe and efficient marine transportation.”

– Tom Boyle, Director, Vessel Operations, South Carolina Ports Authority 

Utilizing Low Cost Technology

The team deployed a cost effective SOFAR Spotter buoy to collect the wave data needed by the Charleston Branch Pilots. 

The ability to access user-friendly, low-cost technology remains a limiting factor in coastal ocean observing. Ocean observing equipment is difficult to deploy, costly to operate, and requires specific technical skills (doi10.12681/mms.25060).