NOAA Ocean Observing System Improves Safety and Efficiency of Ships

Monday - 5/31/2010, 11:49pm EDT

A new ocean observing system from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration now offers mariners free real-time information on water level, wind, and weather conditions for the Sabine-Neches Waterway of Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas.

The so-called PORTS system provides observations of tides, currents, water and air temperature, barometric pressure, and wind speed, gusts and direction through an easy-to-use Web portal and by phone.

NOAA officials say the system will significantly reduce the risk of vessel groundings and increase the amount of cargo moved though the waterway by enabling mariners to safely use nearly every inch of a channel. The system also allows big ships to time their arrivals and departures more efficiently.

There are 19 such other PORTS systems located throughout the nation.