The Saint Lucie Inlet is a very dynamic and ever-changing entrance to what some people call the crossroads of the Intracoastal Waterway. Just inside the inlet near Sewall and Rock points, the Indian River, Saint Lucie River, Okeechobee Waterway and the Intracoastal Waterway meet.
The Saint Lucie Inlet is not known for its reliable channel or consistent mid-line depths. In fact, the U.S.C.G recommends that those without local knowledge not attempt the inlet. That said, hundreds of fishing and charter boats make their way into and out of the inlet every day.
The St. Lucie Inlet was viewed by the famous explorer Cabot in 1496 and appeared on maps in 1500 and 1683. Jonathan Dickinson's crew passed through in 1696. In 1844, before the modern dredge, Samuel Peck and settlers of the Indian River Armed Occupation Colony took picks and shovels making the first recorded opening. The Inlet has been opened and closed many times throughout its history. A dredge was used to deepen the inlet in 1892 for a cost of $2,000. In 1981, the inlet was dredged at a cost of $8 million.
[i]Information Courtesy Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center.[/i]
Use NOAA Chart 11428.
Although the Saint Lucie Inlet is marked by a series of buoys, their location is frequently changed due to dynamic and rapidly changing shoal conditions. The Coast Guard advises anyone without prior local knowledge not to attempt the inlet.
The current here, as with many Florida inlets, can be deceivingly strong. Keep a firm grip on the helm and keep a constant eye on the position of your boat relative to the buoys and marks. Once inside the inlet, the marked channel bows to the south and continues toward Rock Point, where the ICW, Okeechobee Waterway, Indian and Saint Lucie rivers meet.
Local Notices to Mariners are available online from the U.S. Coast Guard.
Saint Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park