The one thing you can be sure of with the world’s seas and oceans is that they are constantly changing: shipwrecks create hazards, jetties are constructed, buoys relocated and perilous sea states can erupt due to natural and manmade events wreaking havoc to harbors, safe channels, and more. To avoid disaster, mariners must have accurate information to ensure the safety of crafts and crew.
Most mariners aboard ships have limited access to the internet, so for navigation, they rely on paper charts. But how can they be sure their charts, which may have been published a decade or more ago, are still accurate?
That is where NGA’s Notice to Mariners publication, or NtM, comes to the rescue. Working with the National Ocean Service, U.S. Coast Guard and international partners, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Maritime Safety Office compiles safety alerts and changes to navigational charts and books for all mariners into one weekly publication, approximately 100 pages.
NGA predecessor agency, the U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office, published its first NtM in 1869 and has issued NtMs weekly since 1886. While how the information is compiled, organized and disseminated has evolved, the NtM mission to provide mariners with accurate navigational information has remained the same, NGA said.
In honor of its 150th anniversary, NGA shared an inside look at an NtM, how it’s created, and how mariners use it. Please visit the NGA website for a complete look:
Visit NGA’s Maritime Safety website: https://msi.nga.mil