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United States Army Corps of Engineers / Upper Mississippi River navigation charts

Regulations prescribed by the secretary of the army for Mississippi River above Cairo, Ill., and its tributaries; use, administration and navigation

Regulations (Cont'd) 
(a) One short blast of the whistle indicates permission to leave the lock
chamber in 
the case ofa single lock or to leave the landward chamber in the case of
twin locks. 
(b) Two short blasts of the whistle indicates permission to leave the riverward
chamber in the case of twin locks. 
(iv) Four or more short blasts of the lock whistle delivered in rapid succession
will be 
used as a means of attracting attention, to indicate caution, and to signal
danger. This signal 
will be used to attract the attention of the captain and crews of vessels
using or approaching 
the lock or navigating in its vicinity and to indicate that something unusual
involving danger 
or requiring special caution is happening or is about to take place. When
this signal is given by 
the lock, the captains and crews of vessels in the vicinity shall immediately
become on the 
alert to determine the reason for the signal and shall take the necessary
steps to cope with the 
(2) Lock Signal Lights. At locks where density of traffic or other local
conditions make 
it advisable, the sound signals from the lock will be supplemented by signal
lights. Flashing 
lights (showing a one-second flash followed by a two-second eclipse) will
be located on or near 
each end of the land wall to control use of a single lock or of the landward
lock of double locks. 
In addition, at double locks, interrupted flashing lights (showing a one-second
flash, a one- 
second eclipse and a one-second flash, followed by a three-second eclipse)
will be located on or 
near each end of the intermediate wall to control use of the riverward lock.
Navigation will be 
governed as follows: 
Red Light. Lock cannot be made ready immediately. Vessel shall stand clear.
Amber Light. Lock is being made ready. Vessel may approach but under full
Green Light. Lock is ready for entrance. 
Green and Amber. Lock is ready for entrance but gates cannot be recessed
Vessel may enter under full control and with extreme caution. 
(3) Radio Communications. VHF-FM radios, operating in the FCC authorized
Maritime Band, have been installed at all operational locks. Radio contact
may be made by 
any vessel desiring passage. Commercial tows are especially requested to
make contact at 
least one half hour before arrival in order that the pilot may be informed
of current river and 
traffic conditions that may affect the safe passage of his tow. 
All locks monitor 156.8 MHz (Ch. 16) and 156.65 MHz (Ch. 13) and can work
156.65 MHz (Ch. 
13) and 156.7 MHz (Ch. 14). Ch. 16 is the authorized call, reply and distress
frequency, and 
locks are not permitted to work on this frequency except in an emergency
involving the risk of 
immediate loss of life or property. Vessels may call and work Ch. 13, without
switching, but 
are cautioned that vessel to lock traffic must not interrupt or delay Bridge
to Bridge traffic 
which has priority at all times. 
(k) Rafts. Rafts to be locked through shall be moored in such manner as not
to obstruct 
the entrance of the lock, and if to be locked in sections, shall be brought
to the lock as directed 
by the lockmaster. After passing the lock the sections shall be reassembled
at such distance 
beyond the lock as not to interfere with other vessels. 
() Entrance to and Exit from Locks. In case two or more boats or tows are
to enter for 
the same lockage, their order of entry shall be determined by the lockmaster.
Except as 
directed by the lockmaster, no boat shall pass another in the lock. In no
case will boats be per- 
mitted to enter or leave the locks until directed to do so by the lockmaster.
The sides of all 
craft passing through any lock shall be free from projections of any kind
which might injure 
the lock walls. All vessels shall be provided with suitable fenders, and
shall be used to protect 
the lock and guide walls until it has cleared the lock and guide walls. 
(m) Mooring. 
(1) At Locks. 
(i) All vessels when in the locks shall be moored as directed by the lockmaster.
shall be moored with bow and stern lines leading in opposite directons to
prevent the vessel 
from "running" in the lock. All vessels will have one additional
line available on the head of 
the tow for emergency use. The pilothouse shall be attended by qualified
personnel during the 
entire locking procedure. When the vessel is securely moored, the pilot shall
not cause move- 
ment of the propellers except in emergency or unless directed by the lockmaster.
Tying to lock 
ladders is strictly prohibited. 
(ii) Mooring of unattended or nonpropelled vessels or small craft at the
upper or lower 
channel approaches will not be permitted within 1200 feet of the lock. 
(2) Outside of Locks. 
(i) No vessel or other craft shall regularly or permanently moor in any reach
of a 
navigation channel. The approximate centerline of such channels are marked
as the sailing 
line on Corps of Engineers' navigation charts. Nor shall any floating craft,
except in an 
emergency, moor in any narrow or hazardous section of the waterway. Furthermore,
vessels or other craft are prohibited from regularly or permanently mooring
in any section of 
navigable waterways which are congested with commercial facilities or traffic
unless it is 
moored at facilities approved by the Secretary of the Army or his authorized
The limits of the congested areas shall be marked on Corps of Engineers'
navigation charts. 
However, the District Engineer may authorize in writing exceptions to any
of the above if, in 
his judgment, such mooring would not adversely affect navigation and anchorage.
(ii) No vessel or other craft shall be moored to railroad tracks, to riverbanks
in the 
vicinity of railroad tracks when such mooring threatens the safety of equipment
using such 
tracks, to telephone poles or power poles, or to bridges or similar structures
used by the public. 
(iii) Except in case of great emergency, no vessel or craft shall anchor
over revetted 
banks of the river, and no floating plant other than launches and similar
small craft shall land 
against banks protected by revetment except at regular commercial landings.
In all cases, 
every precaution to avoid damage to the revetment works shall be exercised.
The construction 
of log rafts along mattressed or paved banks or the tying up and landing
of log rafts against 
such banks shall be performed in such a manner as to cause no damage to the
mattress work 
or bank paving. Generally, mattress work extends out into the river 600 feet
from the low 
water line. 
(iv) Any vessel utilizing a federally constructed mooring facility (e.g.,
cells, buoys, 
anchor rings) at the points designated on the current issue of the Corps'
navigation charts 
shall advise the lockmaster at the nearest lock from that point by the most
expeditious means. 
(n) Draft of Vessels. No vessel shall attempt to enter a lock unless its
draft is at least 
three inches less than the least depth of water over the guard sills, or
over the gate sills if 
there be no guard sills. Information concerning controlling depth over sills
can be obtained 
from the lockmaster at each lock or by inquiry at the office of the District
Engineer of the dis- 
trict in which the lock is located. 
(o) Handling Machinery. No one but employees of the United States shall move
any lock 
machinery except as directed by the lockmaster. Tampering or meddling with
the machinery 
or other parts of the lock is strictly forbidden. 
(p) Refuse in Locks. Placing or discharging refuse of any description into
the lock, on 
lock walls or esplanade, canal or canal bank is prohibited.. 
(q) Damage to Locks or Other Work. To avoid damage to plant and structures
with the construction or repair of locks and dams, vessels passing structures
in the process of 
construction or repair shall reduce their speed and navigate with special
caution while in the 
vicinity of such work. The restrictions and admonitions contained in these
regulations shall 
not affect the liability of the owners and operators of floating craft for
any damage to locks or 
other structures caused by the operation of such craft. 
(r)  Trespass on Lock Property.  Trespass on locks or dams or other United
States proper- 
ty pertaining to the locks or dams is strictly prohibited except in those
areas specifically per- 
mitted. Parties committing any injury to the locks or dams or to any part
thereof will be 
responsible therefor. Any person committing a willful injury to any United
States property 
will be prosecuted. No fishing will be permitted from lock walls, guide walls,
or guard walls of 
any lock or from any dam, except in areas designated and posted by the responsible
Engineer as fishing areas. Personnel from commercial and recreational craft
will be allowed 
on the lock structure for legitimate business reasons; e.g., crew. changes,
emergency phone 
calls, etc. 
(s) Restricted Areas at Locks and Dams. All waters immediately above and
below each 
dam, as posted by the respective District Engineers, are hereby designated
as restricted areas. 
No vessel or other floating craft shall enter any such restricted area at
any time. The limits of 
the restricted areas at each dam will be determined by the responsible District
Engineer and 
marked by signs and/or flashing red lights installed in conspicuous and appropriate
(t) Statistical Information. 
(1) Masters of vessels shall furnish to the lockmaster such statistics of
passengers or 
cargo as may be requested. 
(2) The owners or masters of vessels sunk in the navigable waters of the
United States 
shall provide the appropriate District Engineer with a copy of the sunken
vessel report fur- 
nished to the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Inspection Office in accordance with
Code of Federal 
Regulations Title 33 Subpart 64.10-1. 
(u)  Operations during High Water and Floods in Designated Vulnerable Areas.
operating on these waters during periods when river stages exceed the level
of "ordinary high 
water," as designated on Corps of Engineers' navigation charts, shall
exercise reasonable care 
to minimize the effects of their bow waves and propeller washes on river
banks; submerged or 
partially submerged structures or habitations; terrestrial growth such as
trees and bushes; 
and man-made amenities that may be present. Vessels shall operate carefully
when passing 
close to levees and other flood protection works, and shall observe minimum
distances from 
banks which may be prescribed from time to time in Notices to Navigation
Interests. Pilots 
should exercise particular care not to direct propeller wash at river banks,
levees, revetments, 
structures or other appurtenances subject to damage from wave action. 
(v) Navigation Lights for Use at All Locks and Dams. 
(1) At locks at all fixed dams the following navigation lights will be displayed
hours of darkness: 
(a) Three green lights visible through an arc of 3600 arranged in a vertical
line on the 
upstream end of the river (guard) wall unless the intermediate wall extends
farther upstream. 
In the latter case, the lights will be placed on the upstream end of the
intermediate wall. 
(b) Two green lights visible through an arc of 3600 arranged in a vertical
line on the 
downstream end of the river (guard) wall unless the intermediate wall extends
downstream. In the latter case, the lights will be placed on the downstream
end of the in- 
termediate wall. 
(c) A single red light, visible through an arc of 3600 on each end (upstream
downstream) of the land (guide) wall. 
(y)  Vessels to Carry Regulations.  A copy of these regulations shall be
kept at all times on 
board each vessel regularly engaged in navigating the rivers to which these
regulations apply. 
Copies may be obtained from any lock office or District Engineer's office
on request. Masters 
of such vessels are encouraged to have on board copies of the current edition
of appropriate 
navigation charts. 
NOTE: These regulations are those in effect 31 July 1975. 

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