If you have ever ventured offshore Amelia Island then you certainly have seen the 2 offshore towers located just north of the St. Mary‚Äôs channel. These 2 towers have been in place since the mid 80’s when the channel was re-routed to facilitate naval submarines en route to Kings Bay navel re-fit facility. They are roughly 75′ tall and equipped with solar panels and a small “shed” to house batteries and weather tracking monitors. The purpose for these towers is to aid in navigation for all inbound marine traffic by providing visual signs, high intensity lighting and horns to keep boats in the middle of the channel.
Submarines draw 50′ of water and staying in the deepest part of the channel is the only way to ensure from running aground. After 23 years of active service they were deemed unsafe and have been scheduled to be removed. Last weekend my daughter and I went spear fishing offshore at an inshore reef, KBY, and noticed the first tower has been dismantled to the high water line. These towers have provided excellent fishing and a great place to catch bait. They will be sadly missed. I have made several phone calls to the Coast Guard inquiring as to the replacement of these towers with no definitive answers. My hopes are they will be replaced with new and improved structures that will provide many years to come with excellent fishing results.