Wassaw Sound Inlet

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Wassaw Island, Georgia United States
31° 55' 26.4'', -80° 56' 10.69''
Wassaw Sound Inlet
Wassaw Sound Inlet
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The image above is a view from the west looking east over Wassaw Sound where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Off to the right (north) is Little Tybee Island and the Bull River with Wassaw Island appearing on the left (south). Though not immediately close to the Intracoastal Waterway (the ICW is about eight miles northwest of the inlet), many shoal-draft boats can use the inlet for to and from access to the Atlantic Ocean via a well marked channel. There is shoaling on the outer end of the inlet, but there are deeper portions to the south and southeast along the east side of Wassaw Island.

Navigating the Water:

Use NOAA Chart 11511.

Though Wassaw Sound is fairly deep and wide along most of its length, shoaling continues to be a problem toward its outer ends in the Atlantic Ocean. Just east of green can “9” and flashing red buoy “10,” there are extensive areas with depths of less than six feet, and breakers can sometimes be seen washing over these shallow areas during extremely low tides. If your boat draws more than five feet, do not even consider transiting this inlet. If you do draw less than five feet proceed with caution only during good weather and preferably with advance local knowledge from a reputable source.

To approach Wassaw Sound from the Atlantic, you must first negotiate the outlying shoals. The deepest water is from flashing red buoy “2W” (N31 51.540 W80 53.007) north to green can “9” and flashing red buoy “10.” Once you have reached green can “9” and flashing red buoy “10,” set an approximate course of 314 degrees magnetic and follow in green can buoy “11,” green can buoy “13,” and flashing red buoy “14,” where you will make a turn to the west toward flashing red “16” and flashing green “17.”

The Intracoastal Waterway crosses the Wilmington River about 7.9 miles from Wassaw Sound at Turner Creek and the Skidaway River. To the north on Turner Creek is the city of Savannah, and to the south on the Skidaway River is Ossabaw and St. Catherines islands.

Local Notices to Mariners:

Local Notices to Mariners are available online from the U.S. Coast Guard.

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