During the month of February, the Manson Dredge Company will be dredging the entrance to Ventura Harbor as well as the sand trap, located to the west of the channel. It is important to be aware of dredge operations and understand their signals in order to avoid an accident.
During the day, dredges will display a ball-diamond-ball in a vertical line, usually on the centerline near the forward portion of the dredge. This signals that you are approaching a vessel with limited maneuverability. The “safe side” will be marked with two diamonds. Avoid the “danger side,” marked with two black balls. This is the side on which the dredge pipe is connected.
At night, the ball-diamond-ball pattern will instead be represented with a red-white-red pattern. The two diamonds of the “safe side” will show two green lights, and the two black balls of the “danger side” will show two red lights.
Do not confuse these with navigation lights, and never pass a dredge until you confirm passing instructions with the Dredge HR Morris on VHF-FM Channel 16/67. As with all vessels, the dredge will monitor both Channel 16 and 67, and you can always hail on Channel 16 and switch over to Channel 67.
Dredge operations involve a considerable number of support vessels that are necessary to move the dredge, relocate anchors and anchor balls, place dredging pipe and connecting flanges, and ferry personnel and supplies. These boats are on the move 24 hours a day, and also have a limited ability to maneuver. Maintain a close lookout, and be prepared for sudden maneuvers by support vessels.
Boaters may also hail the Harbor Patrol on Marine 12/16 for assistance. General Information can be obtained by calling the Harbor Patrol Office Line @ 805-642-8618