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St. Lucie River Inlet

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Stuart, Florida United States
27° 10' 24.6'', -80° 11' 40.21''
Manatee Pocket
St. Lucie River Inlet
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The mouth of the St. Lucie River is located on Florida’s East Coast about 32 miles north of West Palm Beach and 68 miles south of Melbourne. The mouth of the St. Lucie River is situated at a major confluence of waterways. The Intracoastal Waterway and the Indian River work their way in from the north, ending at the St. Lucie Inlet, while Mile 0 of the Okeechobee Waterway is situated right near the mouth of the St. Lucie River at flashing red buoy “2” off the Intracoastal Waterway.

That said, from this point, you can head up the Okeechobee Waterway via the St. Lucie River and eventually end up in Fort Myers about 150 miles away on Florida’s East Coast, or you can proceed south via the Intracoastal Waterway some 300 miles to its terminus at Key West. Offshore sailors can depart the St. Lucie inlet for the Bahamas or Caribbean with advance local knowledge of inlet conditions.

The image above is a view from the south looking north over the St. Lucie River near Willoughby Creek. The strip of land to the right (east) is Sewall Point, while in the distance the Steele Point Bridge (fixed 65-foot vertical clearance) can be seen crossing the St. Lucie River in the upper left-hand (northwest) portion of the image. The Ernest Lyons Bascule Bridge (28-foot closed vertical clearance, restricted schedule, replacement span under construction) can be seen to the upper right (northeast) where the Intracoastal Waterway passes underneath at ICW Mile 985.

Navigating the Water:

Use NOAA Chart 11428.

To reach the St. Lucie River from the Intracoastal Waterway near Great Pocket and Rock Point, first pick up flashing red “240” on the ICW route, and then head southwest to intercept flashing red buoy “2” and green nun buoy “3” at the beginning of the St. Lucie River and Okeechobee Waterway. Once you have picked up flashing red buoy “2” and green nun buoy “3,” you can head farther west toward Manatee Pocket, following in green nun buoy “3A,” red nun buoy “4,” green daybeacon “5,” red daybeacon “6,” red nun buoy “6A,” and then flashing green “7,” which marks the north turn of the channel deeper into the St. Lucie River near Hell Gate and Sewall Point.

Past flashing green “7,” you will follow a series of lighted and unlighted fixed marks up to flashing red “14,” and then farther on to round the unnamed point to port at flashing green “15” (the point and the daybeacon are visible to the left in the image above).

Marina facilities are scattered about the general area, but the greatest concentration of marinas is located in Manatee Pocket at the mouth of the St. Lucie near flashing green “7.” Farther up the St. Lucie are another gathering of marinas that are situated around the split of t he river into its north and south forks at the town of Stuart.

Local Notices to Mariners:

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

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