The Maritime Department in Partnership with the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) is carrying out a mapping of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office have contracted Furgo USA. A company based in Texas, United States of America to carry out the Hydrographic Surveys of the Turks and Caicos Islands Banks.
The Survey and Mapping of the Turks and Caicos Islands waters is a threefold initiative; (1) The Aerial survey (2) Seabed Mapping and (3) The satellite survey. The Aerial Survey project commenced on August 5th 2018 with daily flights from the Providenciales airport to the various schedule areas, the footage captured data of the Caicos banks which was uploaded to a database system to be sent to the UKHO for processing. To date 98% of the mainline of the TCI Banks have been completed by way of aerial survey.
The second phase of the Hydrographic Survey which is the Multi-beam Vessel Survey commenced on January 8th 2019, using the Multi-beam vessel, this vessel is equip with state of the art sonar equipment for capturing sound waves into deep water and measures refraction of the transmitted wave also the equipment will be recording the movement of the ocean current, the locations of shoals, sea grass beds, as well as the depths of the various portions of the Caicos Banks. Particular emphasis is being placed in the area of South Dock, Providenciales, South Caicos Dock and the area around Government dock in Grand Turk. The three areas are being highlighted due to vessels restrictions, with the ability to maneuver due to the shallow draft and also future concerns for dredging. The project is scheduled for completion in four weeks depending on weather conditions.
Tidal Gauges were installed throughout various locations in the Turks and Caicos Islands, they were erected to Provide Accurate Tidal Readings at the docks and channels for the docking and safe passage of vessels, also the data collected will be used to Forecast Future Tidal Changes, Ocean Readings, Storm Forecasting and help to provide updated information for nautical charts and maps.
Upon completion of the project the Turks and Caicos will be deemed one of the best surveyed countries with in the region. This will provide up to date nautical charts of the water ways and enhance safety of life at sea.
The main benefits of the updated charts are to protect the environment in particularly the reefs and marine life, in addition this project will also attract Mega Yachts that will enhance the economy of the Turks and Caicos Islands.