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Session VII Verifying Private Aids to Navigation. Private Aid Definition. Any signal placed in the navigable waterways of the United States by any person or institution other than the U.S. Coast Guard or other branch of the Armed Forces is considered to be a private aid to navigation .

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Private Aid Definition

Any signal placed in the navigable

waterways of the United States by any

person or institution other than the U.S.

Coast Guard or other branch of the

Armed Forces is considered to be a

private aid to navigation.

navigable waters
  • Coastal Waters below Mean High Water
  • Waters subject to tidal ebb and flow
  • Inland waters used for interstate or foreign commerce
  • Inland waters that with reasonable cost improvement could in the near future be used for commerce
uscg authority
USCG Authority

In accordance with subpart 66 of Title 33 CFR, no person, public body or instrumentality not under the control of the Commandant, exclusive of the Armed Forces, shall establish and maintain, discontinue, change, or transfer ownership of any private aid to maritime navigation without first obtaining permission to do so from Commandant. This authority is delegated to the District Commander.

private aids
  • Must be maintained in good working order and painted with no expense to the Coast Guard
  • Must provide 30 days notice to the District Commander before removal
  • District Commander can order removal of aids that are no longer needed
private aids6
  • Aids are subject to inspection at any time without prior notice.
  • New aids should be verified for accuracy, soon after they are established.
  • Discontinued aids should be inspected for proper removal.
private aton regulations
Private AtoN Regulations

Failure to Comply:

When repair is unreasonably delayed the

CO/OinC of the inspecting unit may

request, in writing, that CCGDONE

revoke the owner’s authorization to

operate private aids and to order the

removal of the aids.

unauthorized patons
  • Unauthorized PatoN’s are subject to a fine of up to $100 per offense
  • Each day an unauthorized aid is in operation is a separate offense
  • If more than one aid marks a waterway, each aid is also a separate offense
tools of the trade
Tools of the Trade
  • Digital Camera
  • Note book
  • Dividers
  • Plotter
  • Pencils and pens
  • GPS set
  • Forms
  • Binoculars
  • Sounding Device
  • Hand-bearing compass
  • Nautical charts
  • Coast Pilot
  • Light List
  • LNM
  • Tide Book
  • Watch/Timing device
observe as if a stranger
Observe as if a Stranger
  • Pretend you have never been on this shore before.
  • Look at things from different locations.
  • Note what most impresses you or is unique to the area.
  • Look for changes in the skyline and check them out from seaward.
document what is important
Document what is Important!
  • The person who will read your report has never seen the area.
  • Imagine this person without your vast knowledge and report clearly and totally.
  • Never assume local knowledge.
  • Be explicit!
  • Include tide, currents, Lat/Lon, depths, chartlets, graphs, drawings, photographs.
  • Tell a complete story in a few words.
private aid classifications
Private Aid Classifications

Class I

Class II

Class III

class i private aids
Class I Private Aids

Class I Private Aidsare aids to navigation

on marine structures, including bridges or

other works for which the owners are legally

obligated to establish, maintain and operate

as prescribed by the United States Coast


Permanent aids are listed in the Light List and


class ii private aids
Class II Private Aids

Class II Aids to Navigationexclusive

of Class I, are located in waters used by

general navigation.

Permanent Aids are listed in the Light List and


class iii private aids
Class III Private Aids

Class III Aids to Navigationexclusive

of Class I and Class II are located in

waters not ordinarily used by general


Usually not found on charts or in the Light List.

DOs and DON’Ts


Aid Verifiers.

the do s for aid verifiers
The Do’s for Aid Verifiers
  • Aid Verifier should always:
    • Report unauthorized aids.
    • Redirect private aid questions to the Operating Unit (ANT--Group).
    • Report discrepancies at anytime regardless of the primary mission activity or while on a recreational outing.
the don ts for aid verifiers
The DON’Ts for Aid Verifiers

An Aid Verifier must never:

  • Attempt to move or fix a private aid.
  • Enter private property (trespass), even if to only visually verify an aid.
  • Contact a private aid owner.
  • Contact the ANT Unit. Follow chain of communications
  • Originate correspondence to a private aid owner.
the cg auxiliary job of reporting patons
The CG Auxiliary Job of Reporting PatoNs!

Your job of reporting discrepancies to the Coast Guard should be completed within 24 hours from the time and date of the observation (both initial report and follow-up)

Don’t bother to send outdated discrepancy or verification reports since they have no value and will be discarded.


Verify the PatoN’s position



Seaman’s Eye

Local Knowledge


PatoN Verifications Check List

  • Does it conform to the PID List
  • Does it conform to the Light List
  • Does it conform to the Charts
  • Does it conform to the IALA-B System
  • Does it conform to the Coast Pilot
  • What Are there any Discrepancies
  • Is it an USCG authorized

What is the definition of a “verification”?

A verification of an aid

means that you have

applied all of your acquired

knowledge of discrepancies

on aids to navigation, while

observing the aid, and you

did not find any problem.




Session VII