Coast Guard suspends 10 buoys in Lockwoods Folly due to shoaling

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Coast Guard is closing ten buoys in Lockwoods Folly Inlet near Oak Island and Holden Beach, due to extensive shoaling and safety concerns.

Under the current condition of the inlet, the Coast Guard says the navigational aids can no longer safely mark a passable channel. The Coast Guard says if you attempt to go through there, you do so at their own risk.

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Residents recently started a petition to get the inlet dredged, but Holden Beach Mayor Alan Holden says they don’t have any funds for that.

Heavy shoaling in the vicinity of Lockwoods Folly Inlet has progressed over the past few months making the waterway inaccessible to vessels with a draft greater than three feet.  The aids to navigation listed below currently do not accurately mark the waterway as they once did. The markers are misleading to mariners, which can be more dangerous than having no aids to navigation.

The aids to navigation scheduled to be changed are:

  • Lockwoods Folly Inlet Buoy 1 (31010)
  • Lockwoods Folly Inlet Buoy 2 (31015)
  • Lockwoods Folly Inlet Buoy 3 (31020)
  • Lockwoods Folly Inlet Buoy 4 (31025)
  • Lockwoods Folly Inlet Buoy 5 (31027)
  • Lockwoods Folly Inlet Buoy 6 (31030)
  • Lockwoods Folly Inlet Buoy 7 (31035)
  • Lockwoods Folly Inlet Buoy 8 (31040)
  • Lockwoods Folly Inlet Buoy 10 (31045)
  • Lockwoods Folly Inlet Buoy 12 (31047)


The Coast Guard is responsible for providing navigational systems, information and services that enable safe navigation.

The Coast Guard continues to work with federal, state and local partner agencies regarding the viability of marking waterways; however, waterways must be reasonably stable and of sufficient depth for the Coast Guard to safely service an area.

“Mariners need to be aware that navigational aids in the vicinity of Lockwoods Folly are not currently reliable and present a danger,” said Lt. Eunice James, Chief of the Waterways Management Division for Sector North Carolina. “The Coast Guard is aware and taking action as soon as possible to remedy the situation.”

To report any aids to navigation discrepancies, shoaling, or hazards to navigation, call the Sector North Carolina Command Center at (910) 343-3882.

The U.S. Coast Guard will continue to monitor the conditions of the waterway and update mariners as necessary.