Coast Guard activates AIS-ATON in Oregon Inlet bar; local mariners encouraged to provide feedback

Published 5:14 pm Thursday, July 4, 2024

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The United States Coast Guard Sector North Carolina is requesting feedback from local mariners on the use and effectiveness of the Automatic Identification System Aids to Navigation (AIS-ATON) that were recently and temporarily activated in the Oregon Inlet Bar.

AIS-ATON is a technology used to enhance maritime navigation safety by electronically broadcasting information about navigation aids – such as buoys, beacons and other markers – to vessels in order to assist mariners with determining their position and ultimately helping them to avoid hazards and more safely navigate waterways.

AIS-ATON devices send out signals that can be received by AIS-equipped vessels. These signals include various data, such as the name, type, position and status of the navigation aid. Mariners whose vessels are equipped with AIS receivers – and who have these receivers turned on while navigating area waterways – can view this information on their navigation displays, helping them to identify the location of navigation aids even if they are not visible due to weather conditions, darkness or distance. In addition, virtual AIS-ATON technology is beneficial to mariners as it continues to electronically broadcast the location of a navigation aid that may have been displaced, damaged or destroyed during a storm or due to another issue.

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According to a June 17, 2024 marine safety bulletin issued by the United States Coast Guard Sector North Carolina, “Mariners are advised of the temporary activation of Automatic Identification System Aids to Navigation (AIS-ATON). AIS-ATON has been energized on the below Aids to Navigation in the Oregon Inlet Bar. AIS-ATON is defined as a broadcast to an assigned position with a corresponding buoy or beacon. Mariners will be able to identify the charted position of the below listed Aids to Navigation through Automatic Identification System. Mariners are cautioned that the positions are charted positions and may not reflect the physical positions of Aids to Navigation. Additional information on Aids to Navigation and AIS-ATON is located the United States Coast Guard Light List Volume II.” Dare County is listed as District 5 on the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center Weekly Light Lists webpage.

The United States Coast Guard is requesting user feedback on the use and effectiveness of AIS-ATON in the Oregon Inlet bar.

Those with questions or who would like to provide the requested user feedback, should email the Sector North Carolina Waterways Management Division at or contact the Sector North Carolina Command Center at 910-343-3882.